Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS among national drugstores testing sales of cannabis products

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Rite Aid joins other national drugstore chains with North Bay locations that are introducing products with a cannabis derivative, but such items aren't coming to their local stores just yet.

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid during an earnings conference call Thursday announced that for several months it has been testing the sale of topical creams, lip balm and lotions with the hemp oil compound cannabidol, or CBD, in its Washington and Oregon store, and that could expand nationwide if successful. Unlike another prominent marijuana component, THC, CBD is not nonpsychoactive.

"(W)e've heard from many customers about their interest in purchasing CBD products," Bryan Everett, chief operating officer, according to the SeekingAlpha transcript of the call.

Walgreens after "thorough review and analysis" announced in late March a planned rollout in nearly 1,500 stores of CBD topical creams, patches and sprays in Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina and Indiana.

"This product offering is in line with our efforts to provide a wider range of accessible health and wellbeing products and services to best meet the needs and preferences of our customers," the Deerfield, Illinois-based company said in a statement.

The Business Journal recently asked North Coast producers of cannabis topicals about the move by CVS earlier in March.

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