CVS Stores Will Offer CBD Products In 800 Locations

By Paul Gaita 03/27/19

A line of topical cannabis-derived products will be available in 800 CVS locations across eight states. 

A CVS store

CVS announced last Wednesday (March 20) that it will now offer CBD topical products to customers in eight states across the United States.

The pharmacy chain, which is the largest in the country with more than 9,900 retail locations, has entered into a deal with cannabis retailer Curaleaf Holdings to carry its line of cannabis-derived products in 800 stores located across eight states.

Curaleaf CEO Joseph Lusardi told investors that he hopes to see an increase in the number of CVS locations carrying his products soon.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring cannabis compound that does not have a euphoric effect on the user.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regards CBD as a drug, and has banned its use in foods and beverages that are pending regulation, proponents consider it therapeutic for a variety of health conditions. CBD is included in numerous and widely available products, including the creams, sprays, roll-ons, lotions and salves sold by Curaleaf that will be available to consumers at CVS.

As MarketWatch noted, CVS stores in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee will sell Curaleaf products. Recreational marijuana is legal in California and Colorado, and medical marijuana is legal in Illinois and Maryland, but both are prohibited in the other four states on the list. None of the locations will sell food products or health supplements containing CBD.

Lusardi also said that Curaleaf—which operates 40 cannabis dispensaries in 12 states—is in the process of striking similar deals with other large consumer chains. 

"We've been having dialogue with national retailers for many months now," he said. "We've got a number of potentially exciting partnerships in the pipeline."

MarketWatch also noted that the announcement of the distribution deal sent stock prices up for both companies on March 21st. It was good news for Curaleaf, which had reported net losses of $16.5 million for the fourth quarter just one day prior, but the news of the deal sent shares up 20% to more than $8 per share the following day.

Following suit, Walgreens announced Wednesday that it will also carry CBD products in nearly 1,500 stores across several states. The rival drug store chain did not specify brands that it will carry.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.