The Kroger Co. is adding cannabidiol, or CBD, products to its lineup at 945 stores across 17 states. The products containing this hemp-derived compound are in the health and beauty care department.
“Like many retailers, we are starting to offer our customers a highly-curated selection of topical products like lotions, balms, oils and creams that are infused with hemp-derived CBD,” a Kroger spokeswoman said in a statement to CNBC.
For the time being, Kroger will stay away from edible or ingestible CBD products as regulatory challenges persist. The Food and Drug Administration recently had a public hearing on the topic of whether or not to create a legal pathway for cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds.
Kroger will begin selling the topical CBD products in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Kroger is not the first grocer to put CBD and hemp products on the shelves. New York metro area grocer Fairway Market introduced its own line under the Fairway Essential Wellness brand in January, and St. Louis-based grocer Dierbergs Markets announced its rolling out CBD products last week.
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates nearly 2,800 retail food stores under various banner names, employing nearly half a million associates. The retailer landed the No. 2 spot of Progressive Grocer's 2019 Super 50 list of top grocers.