Plenty of Americans still don’t know the first thing about CBD, but that’s not stopping mainstream retailers from hawking it to consumers. Brands such as CVS, Martha Stewart, and Neiman Marcus have been selling the stuff for a while now, and apparel outlets Abercrombie & Fitch and DSW recently announced plans to stock CBD on their shelves, too.
Now teen apparel retailer American Eagle is getting into the action, having inked a deal with cannabis producer Green Growth Brands (GGB) to begin selling the CBD products online and in nearly 500 stores.
It’s the third major contract for Green Growth, which will also supply Abercrombie and DSW with CBD-infused products. The company boasts in a press release that it’s “already driving the strongest sales per square feet in the cannabis industry” and has plans to expand throughout the US, both online and “in malls across the country.”
“We are very pleased to be partnering with American Eagle, a leader in the specialty retail space,” Green Growth CEO Peter Horvath said in a statement. “GGB provided the expertise necessary to develop the product formulations and packaging to create a really special line of products.”
What kind of CBD products is American Eagle planning to sell? Green Growth says it’s developed a line of “CBD-infused personal care items such as lotions, muscle balms, and aromatherapy.”
All the products, GGB says, are sourced from licensed, US-based hemp processors and comply fully with the 2018 farm bill, which allows regulated production of industrial hemp.
The company says it distributes topical CBD products “only in jurisdictions that permit such a sale,” though neither GGB nor American Eagle has yet announced which stores will carry the products or where online sales will be available.
Ahead of Regulations, CBD Safety Concerns Remain
The current state of CBD in the United States remains fuzzy, with the US Food and Drug Administration currently considering how to regulate the newly popular cannabinoid.
The unregulated nature of CBD has created headaches for consumers seeking safe, accurately labeled products. As the cannabis reform organization NORML notes, “Currently, commercially marketed CBD-infused products are not subject to explicit federal regulations. As a result, third-party lab testing has frequently revealed inconstancies between the percentage of CBD advertised and the amount actually contained in some of these products.”
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In many cases, that means the actual quantities of CBD in products have been far lower than advertised. In other cases, product inconsistencies have been more dangerous.
Last year, independent testing of products by popular CBD brand Diamond CBD found not only CBD, but also dextromethorphan (DXM), a well-known cough medicine with a history of recreational abuse and health dangers, and 5F-ADB, one of a growing group of synthetic cannabinoids often known as K2 or Spice.
This past May, an article in the journal Clinical Toxicology highlighted another worrisome case, this time of an eight-year-old boy who was hospitalized after taking a commercially available CBD product purchased online by his parents as an anti-seizure treatment. Investigators later tested the product, which hospital officials declined to identify, and found the presence of the same synthetic cannabinoid, 5F-ADB.
The FDA is expected to release draft regulations on CBD products sometime later this year.