Rite Aid joins list of CBD retailers, launches pilot program in Washington, Oregon

By Debbie Cockrell

The News Tribune

Add another retailer to the CBD world.

Rite Aid announced Thursday that it is piloting a program to sell various CBD products at its stores in Washington and Oregon. Depending on the outcome, it then would expand sales to its stores nationwide.

Saying it had heard “from many customers about their interest in purchasing CBD products.” the drugstore chain will begin the sale of CBD hemp oil products starting this month.

According to Rite Aid, the products will be available “in more than 200 stores in Oregon and Washington. We will begin piloting the sale of CBD creams, lotions and lip balms to better meet the needs and preferences of our customers in those communities.”

Rite Aid joins a growing list of drugstores and independent retailers already selling the products. Bartell Drugs introduced the products on its shelves last fall. Last month, CVS and Walgreens announced they too, would be selling the products, and Simon Property Group is bringing kiosks to more than 100 mall locations, including the Tacoma Mall.

During its earnings call with investors on Thursday, Rite Aid also said it was abandoning sales of e-cigarette and vaping products in light of a crackdown on teen usage, but continue selling cigarettes.

Rite Aid, in a statement, said: “We have significantly reduced the visibility and footprint of our tobacco offering across our stores, expanded our smoking cessation category and Rite Aid has trained our pharmacists to provide counseling through programs such as Quit For You, which takes a personalized wellness approach to quitting smoking that is unlike any other smoking cessation program available.”

CBD regulation also is in the spotlight as the FDA plans a hearing next month on new rules for the market.