Big box retailers are eyeing CBD from afar

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Following in Walmart’s footsteps, multiple large chain stores are prepping for the inevitable day that CBD products will be filling their shelves.

A few weeks ago, Walmart signed a deal with New Age Beverages and, love them or hate them, Walmart has always been good at staying ahead of the trends. Now, other big box retailers are taking heed and working on securing their own contracts for CBD products. Some of these companies include Target, Kroger, and Safeway.

The chains have been requesting product samples such as beverages, gummy bears, oils, and topicals from various CBD companies. And all this is in spite of the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still hasn’t laid out any official guidelines on how retailers can sell CBD food products and supplements.

“We are flying around the country, talking to all the big guys at their headquarters,” said Christian Graversen, brand manager of California-based CBDfx. “We are going multiple times to the same companies, meeting with their senior buyers, legal departments and merchandising executive.

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Until now, much of the CBD craze has been limited to internet stores and mom-and-pop shops, but these past few months we’ve seen a few nationwide chains rushing to get a piece of the pie. CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have all announced plans to sell CBD products in the near future, as well as supplement stores GNC and The Vitamin Shoppe.

“The major retailers are [designing] shelves, laying out space where CBD products will sit in their stores, but they aren’t buying any product yet,” said Michael Kirban, chief executive of Vita Coco, a company selling CBD-infused coconut water. While smaller stores have been flying in the face of the FDA for years, many of the big box retailers will likely wait on CBD sales until there is a permanent ruling on the issue.

In short, it may not be an overnight thing, but expect to see CBD products everywhere within the next few years.

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