LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Wendy Simpkins could soon pick up something new, something that was once illegal, during her trips to Kroger.
The grocer has announced plans to offer some CBD products in stores in Kentucky, Indiana and 15 other states.
"I think it's a fantastic idea," she said. "It helps a lot of people."
Simpkins is one of many who believe CBD, derived from hemp, helps ease a number of ailments.
"It works great for some pain and anxiety, sleep issues, and I think a lot of people would benefit from it," she said.
For years, CBD had gotten a bad rap because of its association with marijuana.
"CBD is a compound that's found in the hemp plant. Hemp is not marijuana," said Dee Dee Taylor, the owner of 502 Hemp off Shelbyville Road in Middletown. "Hemp is actually bred to be high CBD and low THC."
Taylor's store is relatively new, offers a vast variety of products and has a growing customer base. When she heard Kroger is entering the CBD game, she didn't panic.
"My initial reaction was like, 'Really?' But then, at the same time, it also brings it more to the mainstream media, brings it more into the mainstream focus," she said.
She feels Kroger will further legitimize her industry and won't be her competition. The retailer won't sell ingestible CBD. Instead, Kroger will sell so-called topical products, like balms, lotions and creams.
Even with Kroger, Taylor thinks there will still be a place for more specialized stores like hers.
Simpkins, meanwhile, has a different take.
"Unfortunately, you have these little specialty stores that sell it, you know, and it's really expensive," she said.
She hopes Kroger and other retail giants help drive down the price of CBD and hemp.
Kroger released a statement about the new products:
"Like many retailers, we are offering our customers a highly-curated selection of topical products like lotions, balms, oils and creams that are infused with hemp-derived CBD. CBD is a naturally-occurring and non-intoxicating compound that has promising benefits and is permitted within federal and state regulations. Our limited selection of hemp-derived CBD topical products is from suppliers that have been reviewed for quality and safety."
CVS and Walgreens also sell CBD topical products.
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