Another in a long line of traditional retailers, Kroger, will start selling CBD products within the coming weeks. To start, Kroger will not be selling CBD products that you can eat and they will only be selling product in Kentucky.
“‘We will not be selling ingestible at this time. We are offering our customers a highly-curated selection of topical products like lotions, oils, balms and creams that are infused with hemp-derived CBD,’ [Kroger] Louisville division’s spokeswoman Erin Grant said.”
Looking at this cynically (and maybe some of you reading this would substitute that word for “logically”), one could see this as a blatant marketing ploy by one of the largest retailers in the country. Kroger, this cynical person might reason, knows that there isn’t much to substantiate the efficacy of CBD-infused products but since there are no known side effects Kroger is trying to get in on the CBD bandwagon.
And, even though there is mounting evidence that more and more people are finding CBD products helpful for whatever ailment they are facing, that cynical person is at least partially correct. The worst case scenario for the CBD industry is that these retailers are seeing the rapid adoption of CBD products as nothing but a mania.
I think the more likely scenario is that these retailers are seeing the beginnings of a trend. While not certain, it looks like there are some health benefits to taking products infused with CBD and, over time, we may even find out that there are more substantial benefits to using CBD products than with simply helping get rid of acne or helping one calm down.
Looking at it this way, what retailers are doing is essentially buying an option to pursue this customer base. By taking these first, tentative steps into the CBD market, these retailers are communicating to their customers that they have heard what they want and these retailers are taking the CBD marketplace seriously. Starting out with oils, lotions, and ointments these retailers are making an effort to get in the CBD space and, with time, will be open to expanding their offerings.
Or retailers like Kroger could simply be playing follow the leader because they don’t want to get left out on any of the CBD fun.
Either way, I think the old adage about paying more attention to what someone does and not what they say is what we should be going by in this situation. Retailers are carrying CBD products because at the very least they think that the CBD market can become an important part of their business.
The only time to become worried is if retailers start taking CBD products off of their shelves. This would either happen because the laws and regulations turn against CBD products or because there just isn’t enough demand. I think that neither scenario is likely but, of the two, the least likely is the latter. People are already using CBD products in large numbers and, if anything, this marketplace will expand by up to 40 times what it is now by 2022. CBD is a hot market and we don’t think that will abate anytime soon.