Walgreens to sell hemp-derived CBD products, joins growing list of mainstream retailers

The Walgreens pharmacy chain will sell CBD-infused creams, sprays and transdermal patches in 1,500 stores across nine states, but the company declined to identify the brands it plans to carry, CNBC reported.

The move comes hot on the heels of an announcement last week that rival pharmacy chain CVS had kicked off sales in eight states of hemp-derived CBD creams, sprays and salves.

Massachusetts-based Curaleaf, a vertically integrated cannabis company, signed a deal with CVS to begin selling its hemp lotions and transdermal patches at 800 CVS stores, underscoring the opportunity for CBD product manufacturers to land mainstream distribution deals.

“All large retailers are figuring out their hemp strategy and will address that in 2019 because there is such a huge product demand,” Curaleaf CEO Joseph Lusardi said on a call with investors and analysts last week.

The two drugstore chains join traditional retailers Sephora, Neiman Marcus, Barneys and DSW in selling hemp-derived CBD products – despite repeated warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it is illegal to include CBD in food, cosmetics or dietary supplements.