Kroger Now Selling CBD Products in Houston Stores
Kroger announces CBD in Houston stores
Kroger is the latest large retailer to jump on board the CBD trend. The retailer is joining the ranks of Neiman Marcus, Target, Barneys, and others. The grocer superpower has announced the addition of CBD products to its stores in Houston, Texas. Kroger is offering lotions, oils, creams, and balms as part of its new CBD products. Kroger is one of the largest grocers in the Houston area, with 110 grocery stores, 106, pharmacies and 81 gas stations. The company also employs 17,000 people in the area. News of such a well-known and significant company selling CBD products is a big boost for the industry and further fortifies the trend that CBD is here to stay.
Is CBD legal in Texas?
As of June 2019, hemp and hemp-derived products are now legal in Texas. Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill legalizing the production of hemp throughout the state. CBD derives from the hemp plant, which contains less than .3% THC. THC is the psychoactive component present in the cannabis plant that is responsible for the high effect. Due to the low amount of THC present in CBD, it is entirely safe to use, and users will not have any cognitive effects from doing so. Less than two months after hemp, and thus CBD, became legal in Texas, Kroger is already taking full advantage of the ability to sell CBD in its stores.
Why does this matter?
The rise of CBD has been lightning fast. CBD products are trendy and range from supplements to CBD face masks. Despite its popularity, the FDA is not succeeding in keeping pace with decisions regarding restrictions. The more major retailors that begin to sell CBD products, the more pressure there is for clear rules.
In fact, the CBD industry is not going anywhere. CBD products were a nearly $2 billion industry in 2018. That number is expected to rise to $20 billion by 2024. It is no big surprise that Kroger is one of the first major grocery chains to take on CBD products. The retailer landed the number two spot of Progressive Grocer’s 2019 Super 50 list of top grocers. Kroger is not selling CBD-infused groceries yet, but it will carry CBD topical products.
Where else does Kroger sell CBD?
Kroger is selling topical products containing CBD in a whopping twenty-one other states. These include Georgia, Montana, Utah, and Virginia. The company has confirmed their CBD products are strictly adhering to the legal requirement that caps the THC level at .3% or less. Kroger is clearly labeling the products and encouraging customers to read and review the information on the package and consult a doctor before using if necessary. With so many Kroger locations now selling CBD products, it is only a matter of time to see what other retailers will join Kroger’s pioneering leadership.
The question of CBD legality is still kind of a murky one. In 2018, President Trump signed into effect a bill that made the growing, transporting and selling of hemp, and therefore CBD, legal. However, each state has come up with its regulations. Where you can buy CBD will likely depend on where you are living.
The decision to introduce CBD
Sparkle Anderson, Kroger’s Houston spokeswoman, said, “Like many retailers, we are now offering our customers a highly-curated selection of topical products that are infused with CBD [coming from hemp]… Our selection of CBD topical products are from suppliers that have been reviewed for quality and safety.” By establishing curated and high-quality products, Kroger seeks to ease the worries of people who wonder if CBD products can still be unsafe due to mislabeling to a lack of regulatory guidelines. Undoubtedly, Kroger is hoping to jump on the CBD trend by testing out first its curated and hand-picked items. If those do well, perhaps the retailer will turn to CBD functional beverages and other food products.
In July 2019, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) pushed the FDA regarding the commercialization of food, beverage, and other products containing cannabis. This includes CBD. FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin commented on the their letter to the FDA, stating, “The current lack of FDA regulation is creating significant confusion in the marketplace- FMI respectfully urges FDA to move expeditiously to provide additional clarity and establish a pathway forward for the use of hemp-derived ingredients, including CBD, in FDA-regulated products.” As more retailers like Kroger seek more data and scientific information about CBD products, more critical is the need for secure and transparent access to information.
Benefits of CBD
CBD offers a broad range of health benefits. People use CBD to treat insomnia, anxiety, seizures, inflammation, digestive issues, chronic pain, and more. Many users also claim to benefit from mild relaxation with CBD products, without enduring any intoxicating effects. The most commonly cited reason for CBD users is to help with pain management. This is likely because CBD offers a natural alternative to addictive pain medications. CBD can consumable in a variety of ways- tinctures, oil, supplements, and vape pensare just the beginning. Gummies, CBD-infused tea, and even coffee are becoming more ubiquitous every day.
Will more grocers follow Kroger’s lead?
More major retailers will likely stock their shelves with CBD products. Due to the FDA’s lack of regulations, many retailers are hesitant to move forward with serious investments in the space. However, retailers are not the only ones pushing for more precise guidelines. With the CBD industry expected to grow dramatically in the coming years, investors across the world are pushing for regulatory standards that will make investing in such an opportunity low-risk.
Currently, one in every seven Americans uses CBD products, and the majority fall within the age group of 18-29. As more users of all ages across the United States begin purchasing and understanding the benefits of CBD, that number is sure to increase. In short, CBD is not going anywhere, and we should expect major chains across the country to get on board.