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The Vitamin Shoppe Will Sell CBD infused Edible Products To Stores In 14 States

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The Vitamin Shoppe

Image Credits: Barron’s

The Vitamin Shoppe will start selling CBD infused edible products on the front shelves in 14 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, according to CNBC. The retailer will first launch oral CBD soft gels followed by CBD drops later this month.

Introducing CBD infused edible supplements puts The Vitamin Shoppe one step ahead of its competitors, Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid, which have been selling only topical products in their stores. The Vitamin Shoppe started selling hemp extract essential oils in March itself.

Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe said in a statement to CNBC that their foremost importance and focus is given on the customer relationship, which indicates towards rising demands of CBD which is simply why they are selling CBD products in their stores.

Despite of the federal law allowing and legalizing CBD for medicinal and recreational purposes, the Food and Drug Administration still prohibits the addition of cannabis compound in dietary supplements and edibles until new regulatory policies can be created for it.

When prompted about the concerns with FDA, the Vitamin Shoppe seemed to hold back and decline making any comments on whether it contemplates about violating the FDA rules. The agency is yet to set a regulatory framework which would clearly mention how CBD can be used in consumer goods, especially in dietary supplements.

The public hearing will take place on May 31, it will be attended by various businessmen, consumers and subject experts who will discuss about the real-life experience cases and studies about the effects of the drug. Though there are no recognized international study or research which claims CBD is effective in medicinal treatments, studies on patients suggest that it is as effective as any other drug, in fact, much better.

Till then, the confusion with respect to the compound will stay afloat. Companies and retailers have already started breaking the rules set by the FDA and stocking CBD food and drinks to serve to the consumers and get traction from the market.

The Vitamin Shoppe has a history of taking risks with products from unknown brands with small consumer base. In July 2018, the retailer started the Launchpad vendor incubation program to help new natural health, nutritional supplement and organic beauty vendors to get their business off the ground.

However, The Vitamin Shoppe isn’t the first to join the CBD space offering ingestible CBD products. Recess, an online store which sells CBD infused beverages online, opened up their first brick and mortar store in New York City in February. Other brands like Sprig, a CBD soda producer have also introduced CBD infused drinks.

Another restaurant, Carl’s Jr. tested out CBD infused burgers on the 420, special occasion for the marijuana community at their single restaurant. While they are looking for just a temporary item in their menu, it is quite evident that the company is inclined towards producing and selling CBD infused products.

CBD is considered as one of the hottest ingredients in the United States currently, there’s no reason why companies and vendors should not sell it. From CBD infused edibles to beauty products to lifestyle goods, the market is flourishing with cannabis products.

Though cannabinoid is legal in several states, lawmakers in other places are sceptic about how it will affect consumers and ask for proper, recognized, research that proves the gamut of health benefits CBD oil claims to possess.

Consumers remain dubious about whether the products are legal or not, and are still understanding the impact of it on their health. It is advised that people take CBD based products only after consulting their medical examiner or a physician, especially if they are following a medical prescription for other drugs.

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CBD Crackdown Backed By the Attorney General

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AG Backs CBD Crackdown

Leevin Camacho, Attorney General supports the recent crackdown on hemp-derived CBD products and has issued a statement regarding the issue. Since the 2018 Farm Bill passage, cannabidiol associated products have been on a rise in the market in various island stores across the nation.

The statement mentioned that the passage of the bill has given an impression that hemp has been legalized and that CBD containing products are decriminalized. Majority of the people believe that selling CBD is legal everywhere and anyone can do it. The Attorney General assures that “decriminalization does not mean there will not be any regulation.”

Guam Officials Question CBD Crackdown

The statement provided by the Attorney General was issued as a response to a letter delivered by the Guam Officials. Speaker Tina Muna Barnes and acting Gov. Josh Tenorio asked for a written statement on Monday from the Attorney General on his thoughts on the extent to which individuals and business can sell or import CBD products in Guam.

The letter was sent in response to local island businesses who issued complaints because their products containing CBD were seized by Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency officers. Director of the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services Linda DeNorcey denied that her officials have rejected the release of products containing CBD because they “might contain THC and also because these products have not been screened by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.” DeNorcey stated that her department did not instruct CQA to confiscate any CBD containing products. Despite the Public Health department’s zero involvement, officials question the reasons behind CQA’s confiscation of these products.

CQA Director Tested Shipments

Ike Peredo, the Director of Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency mentioned to The Guam Daily Post that his officers did start testing some CBD products that arrived through air cargo shipments in February. These products were found to contain trace amounts of THC, the major component of the psychoactive marijuana, which is still illegal under federal law. Since THC is related to CBD, despite its non-psychoactive effects, CBD is classified as a drug. According to Camacho, the FDA can regulate these products containing CBD, most of which still require approval for interstate trade and commerce.

AG Concerned About Consumer Health

Camacho referred to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association which observed that more than 70% of the products containing CBD which are usually bought online were not labeled properly. Thus, a consumer might as well be ingesting THC instead of CBD, which is still illegal. The AG said that his office is worried about consumer safety and that it’s his responsibility to ensure that the products contain the proper ingredients and are properly labeled.

By regulating these products, he wants to ensure that there is minimum harm done, and it may stop businesses from stating false claims about their products. The FDA had previously warned businesses about advertising CBD products as miracle cures to diseases such as cancers, anxiety, depression and other serious ailments.

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Do Pet CBD Supplements Really Work?

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CBD Pets

The CBD Bandwagon has gathered such momentum that people are now even investing in CBD products for not only themselves but their pets as well. But how much of the presumed benefits of these products on their pets are legit? What should be the things that a pet-owner should be aware of? These are the questions asked by the Seattle Times with some collaboration with veterinary experts.

Pet CBD Products

With many of the CBD products available for people out there, there are CBD products available for dogs as well. Although the effectiveness of these products in animals is still in question, it’s definitely not doing anything to stop people from experimenting with their beloved animals with these products. While some of these products help the animals, others inadvertently lead to a waste of time and money in the best case scenario and cause harm to the animals in the worst (As seen in the experimentation with rats).

General Skepticism

Obviously, the grey lines in its usefulness will bring about a lot of controversies from different organizations and individuals; especially when CBD is gaining such popularity at such a rapid pace. While the supporters of CBD can blow it off as “haters hating”, the opposition does take these skepticisms as weapons to fuel their beliefs.

Actual Data from the Proper Sources

With arguments from both sides, it’s actually very easy to get lost amongst the truths and differentiate the myths from the facts. So, like the Seattle Times, we believe that the best way to get rid of these confusions is to refer to actual sources of knowledge and the unbiased statements from the experts in the field.

One such source, is PetMD, a pet-focused version of WebMD. It details everything, with clear details on the benefits as well as the side-effects of these “medications” on pets. Going through this source does reveal some alarming information about these products. However, they do also do not deny some of the perceived benefits that these products can have on dogs.

What to Do?

So, if CBD infused treats and medications for your pets come with both benefits and side-effects, what to do? The answer is simple: Moderation. According to the Seattle Times, experts did not completely discount the use of these products, but rather advised its users to use them with caution. They should refer to their better judgment when purchasing their products from different companies and only use the products that have demonstrated effectiveness rather than just assumed or self-proclaimed ones.

Nowadays, it’s easy to find products for your pets in stores and online, Vet CBD is a notable example. But not all of the sources might be able to provide what they claim to deliver. Some of these products might just be a dud, with little to no effects on your pets. While others might even go as far as to harm your pets. Regardless of which, your pet product is, it’s always safe to administer these products to your pets in moderation and after careful consideration of the sources.

 

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Payment and Compliance Companies Now Playing a Huge Role for CBD Products

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Payments company CBD

Compliance issues among CBD products

CBD has faced a good amount of controversy surrounding its efficacy and abuse potential in the past. While it doesn’t give a high like marijuana or other THC-containing products, it’s been reported to help with pain and anxiety.

Nowadays, issues with payments and compliance are huge concerns in the cannabis industry, as well as other CBD-containing products. Among the issues are the exceeding amounts of CBD or THC in the products. For this issue, LegitScript comes into the rescue. They are an online service that verifies and monitors online pharmacies.

They have since launched a program that certifies websites selling CBD products that are legally compliant. As of today, USDA, FDA, and DEA- approved U.S. manufacturers and traders can apply for certification via LegitScript. Currently, the site provides a 10-page introduction regarding marijuana laws and regulations. It aims to help people understand the state restrictions and payment processes involving medical marijuana.

Having the LegitScript certification gives consumers and banks assurance that CBD merchants are compliant with state-specific laws, as well as regulations provided by various U.S. agencies. Even though cannabinoid or CBD-containing products have been made legal in the U.S., some products that contain THC in more than legal amounts are still illegal. This is why it has become difficult to pinpoint which merchants are selling compliant products.

CBD payments made easy

Even though the CBD industry has its regulation difficulties, major companies like Target and Walmart have been reported to be having discussions with CBD manufacturers. Many are also asking for lab and research results on top of CBD samples.

With this, the fact that the CBD industry is increasingly growing is undeniable anymore. Thus, digital payment companies such as Square, have gone into the CBD industry by providing access to basic financial services. This happened just when Elavon recently backed out from CBD companies.

A year after the legalization of CBD in the U.S., Square has stepped in to give businesses in the CBD industry a good financial service that makes it easier to process payments.

A growing industry

It’s been reported that over 7 percent of Americans are using products that contain CBD as of February. Cowen & Co. surveyed 2,500 adults and have found that the CBD market would be worth over $16 billion by 2025. Meanwhile, in a study by Vivien Azer, analyst, there are over 2.7% more people who use CBD more than e-cigarettes. Because of the rapidly growing industry, more people would definitely be in need of safer and more efficient payment options. In the future, more research will back up most of CBD’s health claims, thus attracting more attention from consumers. There will come a time that these certification programs will be a necessity amongst many consumers.

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