CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. has debuted cannabidiol (CBD) products in 945 stores throughout 17 states, a spokesperson for the company told CSP Daily News. While the products—which include topical creams, lotions, balms and oils—are available in 92 stores in Michigan, Kroger did not specify any other states in which these items are stocked.
“Like many retailers, we are offering our customers a highly curated selection of topical products that are infused with hemp-derived CBD,” Lauren Montalbano, associate communications and engagement manager of corporate affairs for Kroger’s Michigan division, told CSP Daily News. “CBD is a naturally occurring and nonintoxicating compound that has promising benefits and is permitted within federal and state regulations. Our limited selection of hemp-derived CBD topical products is from suppliers that have been reviewed for quality and safety.”
In late 2018, the U.S. Farm Bill essentially legalized products made from hemp that contain CBD oils, so long as they have less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical in marijuana.
Although CBD—the nonpsychoactive component of cannabis—has enjoyed rapid market growth due to its alleged medicinal qualities, there are still plenty of questions regarding its safety and legality, causing concern and hesitation among retailers to get involved. To address these issues, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has created a working group to spearhead the questions surrounding cannabis and CBD in food and beverages, the administration said during its first public hearing on the topic May 31.
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates nearly 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banners including Kroger, Ralphs, Dillons, Smith’s, King Soopers, Harris Teeter, Pick ‘n Save and Mariano’s. The company sold its nearly 800-unit convenience-store business to U.K.-based EG Group for $2.15 billion in April 2018.