Rite-Aid to Sell Topical CBD; Gottlieb Points to Regulatory Concerns

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Washington and Oregon–Rite Aid will start selling CBD creams, lotions and lip balms in Washington and Oregon this month, according to CNBC. The drugstore is testing public demand for CBD-based consumer products, having “heard from many customers about their interest in purchasing CBD products,” the company said in a statement quoted by CNBC.

According to a report in the Washington Examiner, the chain will not file drug claims and instead call their products cosmetics.

Following the announcement, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., weighed in during an interview on CNBC. “It’s hard to understand how they’re going to sell it as a cosmetic without making drug claims around those products,” Dr. Gottlieb said. “Presumably if they’re selling cosmetics and just making beauty claims they could potentially be doing that and not violating federal law. But if they’re making drug-like claims that it helps treat pain or other things, they’re probably going to trip over a federal regulatory line pretty quickly.”

Rite Aid also will stop selling e-cigarettes. CNBC paraphrased Rite Aid COO Bryan Everett as saying that the crackdown on selling e-cigarettes, preceding the apparent teen e-cigarette epidemic, has prompted the company to remove those products from their shelves.

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