The Kroger Co. is lobbying the federal government on hemp, making it the first supermarket chain to do so, according to a published report.
According to Cannabis Wire, which cites the multistate food retailer’s Q4 2019 disclosures, Kroger’s lobbying efforts center on “issues related to the regulation of topical products containing CBD oils and hemp-derived products following the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.” The company has lobbied on the issue since Q2 2019, the publication noted.
Kroger has rolled out hemp-derived CBD products in at least 18 states, including Texas.
The hemp industry has taken off since President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the plant across the United States.
Meanwhile, the public comment period for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s interim final rule on hemp closed last month, having garnered 4,600 responses. The USDA released the rule, which will shape the U.S. hemp industry, in October 2019. The Food and Drug Administration’s rules regarding CBD products are still pending.
Kroger has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plus customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,769 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.