Gelson's Market adds new CBD product line

Southern California grocer Gelson’s Market plans to carry a range of cannabidiol (CBD)-infused health and beauty products under the HempMeds brand.

San Diego-based Medical Marijuana Inc., parent of HempMeds, said this week that eight topical items have become available at three Gelson’s supermarkets, including Sherman Oaks, Santa Barbara and Hollywood, Calif. Plans call for the HempMeds offerings to roll out to more Gelson’s locations based on customer interest in the products.

“For 2020, Nielsen estimates that the hemp-derived CBD market could reach $2.5 billion, providing us with significant evidence that this is something our customers are looking to purchase,” John Bagan, chief merchandising officer at Gelson’s, said in a statement. “We decided to partner with HempMeds because of the company’s long history in the CBD industry, and we saw carrying its assortment as an opportunity to provide our customers with a wide variety of products.”

HempMeds CBD products at Gelsons Market.jpgGelson’s is carrying eight HempMeds topical products. (Photo courtesy of HempMeds)

HempMeds CBD-infused products sold by Encino, Calif.-based Gelson’s — whose base of 27 stores stretches from Los Angeles to San Diego — include Real Scientific Hemp Oil Salve, Dixie Botanicals + Surface CBD-Infused SPF50 Sunscreen, HempMeds Hydrating & Purifying Hemp Shampoo, HempMeds Nourishing Hemp Conditioner, HempMeds Revitalizing Hemp Body Wash, HempMeds Hydrating & Soothing Hemp Body Lotion, HempMeds Active Relief Cooling Roll-On and HempMeds Essential Body Oil.

Medical Marijuana said all of the HempMeds products feature CBD derived from high-quality industrial hemp. The hemp is free of pesticides and herbicides and is triple-lab tested at each production stage for quality, consistency and safety.

“As we evolve and grow, we look forward to working with retail partners such as Gelson’s that have a similar mission and vision of bringing high-quality natural products to market,” commented HempMeds Co-CEO Caroline Heinz.

Supermarkets are paying more attention to the market for cannabidiol (CBD) products as consumer demand for these items continues to climb. A naturally occurring, non-intoxicating compound in hemp plants, CBD has become a popular remedy for a range of everyday health issues. But even as various CBD offerings — mainly topical products — have rolled out to stores, many retailers remain uncertain about the regulatory framework regarding the sale, labeling and safety of hemp-containing products.

The federal government reclassified cannabis in December 2018, removing hemp from the list of controlled substances. Still, the Food and Drug Administration prohibits CBD from being added to food or marketed as a dietary supplement. Strong consumer demand pushed Congress earlier this year to jump-start legislation to allow hemp-based CBD in food and supplements. Eventually, that could change FDA regulations and open the door for more CBD products in retail stores.

“When the founders of HempMeds started the company in 2012, retailers didn’t want to work with us, or any CBD companies for that matter,” according to Raul Elizalde, co-CEO of HempMeds. “The taboo of anything cannabis related and the lasting effects of the ‘War on Drugs’ made it nearly impossible to sell to the general population. But as more research was conducted into its potential benefits, consumers started demanding CBD at the places where they were already shopping.”

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