(FOX BUSINESS) — Walgreens is following CVS’ lead and will start selling CBD-infused products in select stores across the country as both drug chains slowly begin to dabble in the cannabis retail space.
In a statement to FOX Business, Walgreens Boots Alliances Inc. said that it will sell CBD creams, patches and sprays in nearly 1,500 stores in nine states.
Those states are Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana. CNBC was first to report the news.
While a Walgreens spokesperson declined to comment on the specific brands it will carry, the company said that its move into the cannabis space is to provide a wider range of “accessible health and wellbeing products and services” to best meet the needs of its customers.
The news follows a similar announcement from rival drugstore chain CVS, which started selling CBD products, or products with cannabidiol, which is the non-psychoactive component of marijuana, earlier this month in select states.
CVS told FOX Business that more than 800 stores in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee will now offer CBD products as part of a distribution deal with marijuana company Curaleaf Holdings Inc.
“These products include topicals such as creams, sprays, roll-ons, lotions and salves. We are not selling any CBD-containing supplements or food additives. We have partnered with CBD product manufacturers that are complying with applicable laws and that meet CVS’s high standards for quality,” CVS said in a statement.
Following the news, CVS CEO Larry Merlo said on CNBC that the move was prompted by its customers, who have used CBD products in the past and said it helped with pain relief for arthritis and other ailments.
However, Merlo said the company plans to walk “slowly” with the new initiative.
“But we think this is something that customers are going to be looking for as part of the health offering,” Merlo added.
The move also comes after President Trump signed the farm bill legalizing hemp-derived CBD. However, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD’s use in foods or beverages.
Curaleaf announced its agreement with CVS during an earnings call last week. Curaleaf stock, which is listed in Canada, jumped on the news, giving the company a market value of more than $4 billion.
The company’s CEO, Joseph Lusardi, added that it’s been in dialogue with several other national retailers for many months now, in addition to CVS, and it’s got a number of “potentially exciting partnerships in the pipeline.”
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