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With Hemp Legalization, CBD Goes Mainstream at CVS

As we move toward a more discerning future in America, it is often beneficial to look back to clean up the mistakes of our past with our new knowledge.

There’s low hanging fruit in our history; missteps along the way that we can now, right now, easily correct.  One of those “oops” was the criminalization of the hemp plant.

Hemp, regardless of its relationship to some other, more mind-bending botanical specimen, is one of the most useful plants on the entire planet.  Hemp can be used to make myriad materials, fabrics, and goods, with industrious human beings finding new uses for it every day.  But, thanks to the illegality of marijuana, the policing of hemp became impossible.

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Tall, sturdy plants were grown by early civilizations to make a variety of foods, oils and textiles, such as rope and fabrics. These plants were bred with other plants with the same characteristics, leading to the type of cannabis we now know as hemp.

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Other plants were recognized for being psychoactive and were bred selectively for medical and religious purposes. This led to unique varieties of cannabis that we now know as marijuana.

According to Dan Sutton of Tantulus Labs, a Canadian company that specializes in cannabis cultivation technology, “the core agricultural differences between medical cannabis and hemp are largely in their genetic parentage and cultivation environment.”

This incredible versatility led to a reversal of our federal ban on hemp, (but not marijuana), back in 2018, opening the door for the use of certain medicinal compounds from within the hemp plant.

Heck, they even make CBD cold brewed coffee now.

This has led to a booming hemp CBD industry that has come fully into the mainstream.

Select CVS locations in California and seven other states are now selling hemp-derived CBD products.

The national drugstore chain will be marketing the topical cannabidiol products as “an alternative source of relief,” CVS said in a statement to NBC News. The chain also will be partnering with another company to test and verify the quality of the CBD topicals sold in 800 drugstores at this point.

Even those at the top of the CVS food chain were buying in…albeit slowly.

“Anecdotally, we’ve heard from our customers that have used those products that, gee, it’s helped with pain relief for arthritis and other ailments,” CVS CEO Larry Merlo said in a CNBC interview. “We’re going to walk slowly, but we think this is something customers are going to be looking for as part of the health offering.”

And while this is certainly a great boon for those who find comfort in CBD products, one must wonder if and when the government will weasel their way in on the action.

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