How CBD Will Change the Grocery Industry


Supermarkets and grocery stores have been in the news a lot lately, as the coronavirus is impacting how consumers shop and resulting in mass shortages of basic essentials around the world. As non-essential businesses and workers began to go home in an effort to stop the spread, we learned of one specific type of business that was deemed essential and would remain open in the midst of a global pandemic–cannabis.

Dispensaries across the U.S. have continued to operate, as they are seen as legitimately necessary because consumers rely on them to get their medication. It is important to recognize that all forms of cannabis, including CBD, help millions of people each year deal with medical issues. It is equally important to realize that as people struggle with access to conventional medical supplies and healthcare, there is a great opportunity for CBD to fill that void in supermarkets, grocery stores, and retailers where people can still get basic necessities.

CBD has been critical in changing the lives of millions of people around the globe for years, with countless stories of how it has helped people alleviate common medical issues like anxiety, stress, and more. Their stories and lived experiences are a testament to what this natural alternative has to offer the general public. CBD comes in many different forms, including oil tinctures, capsules, topicals, and more. 

CBD products have already hit shelves across the country at thousands of convenience stores, gas stations, and supermarkets–and the types of retailers that carry CBD products are growing. As retailers realize the incredible potential of the product, they move swiftly and soundly, stocking their shelves with enough products and delivery options to satisfy their consumers. In fact, major retail chains are pushing the industry into the future and accepting CBD in retail. CBD sales in the US market are projected to grow to over $20 billion by the year 2024. Big box stores like Walgreens, Kroger, CVS, and more have invested heavily in the CBD market, as they recognize the huge demand for one of the cannabis plant’s most sought after byproducts, and are capitalizing on it.

The behavior of these retailers is telling–they see large profit potential for CBD, enough to purchase hundreds of thousands, and in some cases millions of dollars worth of product. Clearly, they have done research that supports this enormous investment of capital, and it is proving to be profitable. As cannabis products become more mainstream, those who espouse the benefits of cannabis products should gain a great sense of hope, and a glimpse into a world of shattered stigmas. Public perception of cannabis has no doubt changed, supported in part by new FDA regulations. A new era of progressive cannabis policies, legislation, and culture is on the horizon. In fact, the FDA itself has laid out its plan to support research on the use of cannabis over the next decade–something that we would have thought was impossible ten years ago, and signals the growing acceptance and demand for cannabis research.

As we find ourselves in the current moment, it is important to recognize the events of the past that led us here, to the point where cannabis is beginning to become accepted. There was a point in time where almost all of society abhorred the plant, labeling it as “the devil’s lettuce,” with claims of it causing users to become deranged, belligerent, and violent. This may seem silly now, but in the early to mid-1900s, this was the majority opinion. Regardless of if you held these exact views, if you lived during this time, you probably didn’t advocate for it, much less partake. Films like Reefer Madness, released in 1936, give us a pretty good idea of what the perception of cannabis as a whole was in the 20th century. The propaganda piece is laughable at this point, but the film really scared people into avoiding all forms of cannabis–which is exactly what it was intended to do. Legal policies began to shift over time, with cannabis being decriminalized in the 1970s, with medical cannabis laws and licensed recreational cannabis following in the 1990s and 2010s, respectively.

Even more perplexing was that throughout the 19th and early 20th century, the United States government was reliant on hemp to create many different products. Due to the inability of politicians to differentiate between marijuana and hemp, the U.S. essentially destroyed one of its most important industries in 1937, with the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act. Hemp, once a symbol of a strong American industry, was crippled. Aside from a small resurgence during World War 2, prohibition would persist for almost a century, until the passage of the Farm Bill in 2014, which rejuvenated the industry once again. Since then, we have observed an increasing amount of progressive, positive cannabis legislation across the globe, and it shows no signs of slowing down. The current hemp industry’s market value sits around 5 billion dollars, and will only increase in the years to come.

There is a CBD product for each and every consumer’s needs, and unlimited potential for growth for retailers that want to provide a mainstream solution to them. These products have a wide range of applications– from skin and hair care to pain, anxiety, and stress relief. Not only would it be incredibly helpful to people in a time when traditional medication is limited, but if right for your customer base, it can help you give your business a boost. Whether you own a grocery store, supermarket, or retailer, CBD is an opportunity to provide a much-needed alternative to consumers, as well as grow your business responsibly in a time of economic crisis. 

About the Author

USA CBD Expo is the Nation’s Largest CBD Event. Its aim is to bring together hundreds of leading CBD brands and products, along with the industry’s latest innovations all in one place. USA CBD Expo brings together cutting-edge product developers, top-tier buyers, and the industry’s greatest educators for three days. The event is organized by ZJ Events, who have held several successful series of trade shows across the globe. Its next event will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA on February 5-7, 2021.

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