Late last month, Colorado-based natural food chain Lucky's Market began selling a variety of CBD oils in all 25 of its locations across the country. Each store now has two full shelves in its Apothecary section dedicated to private-label hemp oils, salves, and body butters. “This is the next big thing in terms of natural medicine,” Lucky's founder Bo Sharon said. “Customers are trying to find these solutions and trying to find these products.”
The move is a controversial one, as the DEA released new drug code regulations this summer confirming that CBD extracts were still considered Schedule I controlled substances. Sindy Wise, director of apothecary for Lucky's, said that the company is “not afraid to be disruptive and pave the path and be pioneers.” Wise said that the company conferred with lawyers for the Food and Drug Administration when making their decision to sell these products. “It is legal, otherwise we wouldn’t sell it,” she said.
The DEA still maintains that the extracts are in fact illegal, even though they are derived from hemp and have no psychoactive effects. Shortly after the agency announced its new guidelines on cannabis extracts, attorneys for the hemp industry filed a lawsuit contesting their position. “We disagree with (the DEA’s) position and feel that CBD and whole-plant extracts from hemp (pursuant to the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp amendment and state industrial hemp pilot program regulations) are fully lawful,” said Patrick Goggin, attorney with the Hoban Law Group.
Target also began selling CBD oils last month, but pulled them without explanation after news of the sales went public. However, Sharon said that she believes in “positive disruption,” and is willing to take the risk of selling these natural products. “It is a risk,” Wise confirmed, but added that although “it is definitely putting ourselves out there,” selling these natural CBD products is “something that is right and that something is what consumers want.”