CVS and Walgreens to Venture Into Cannabis Industry

Published on March 28, 2019

Your friendly neighborhood pharmacy also just became … your friendly neighborhood weed dealer?

Now that cannabis is something people want to be associated with, more and more companies are seeking ways to invest. Most people (like Mike Tyson) have opted to invest in their own lines of cannabis products in states where the drug is legal for recreational use. Other companies, like CVS, are focusing their efforts on creating a product that can be used across all fifty states.

Since CBD—the non-psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant—is now legal in all fifty states, pharmacy retailers like Walgreens and CVS are looking to cut off a piece of the pie. The laws surrounding the legality of CBD is still foggy in certain places. Not every state has created laws that allow the product, despite the fact that the federal government has legalized and regulated it. For that reason, only a couple of states will be able to buy the CBD products available in Walgreens stores.

What Is CBD?

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant. The compound is extracted from the flower of the cannabis plant and cultivated into oils. The oils can then be used to create a variety of CBD rich products that have been found to have a healing effect upon use. Since CBD won’t get you high—unlike its close cousin THC—it’s become a popular healing product. Its healing properties are well-known, and go back thousands of years (even George Washington grew hemp). Now, the product is popular in food, lotions, bath products, vaporizers—even dog treats.


CVS has started selling select CBD products in hundreds of its stores across eight states. The popular pharmacy chain has made the initial jump into the billion-dollar cannabis industry. CVS has created its own line of topical CBD products. The products are now available, and consumers can find them in-store in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee.

The popular pharmacy chain recently announced that it would be limited opioid prescriptions as well. The chain will now only fill prescriptions for opioids in increments of 7-day supplies. The massive opioid addiction problem in the United States has reach out of control levels. Pharmacies like CVS are working to combat the addiction crisis by limiting supplies, but it may not be enough.


CVS was first to announce its venture into the cannabis world. However, Walgreens took no time at all to follow suit. The company announced this week that it will be offering a line of CBD products in 1,500 stores across a select few states. The states that will see CBD products on Walgreens shelves are Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois and Indiana.

“The CBD-related items we are planning to carry are non-THC containing topical creams, patches and sprays,” said a Walgreens company spokesperson. There is little evidence to necessarily prove that CBD products have absolute healing effects. Despite that, they’ve garnered a lot of popularity in recent years as an alternative medicine.

Other retailers have ventured into the cannabis industry as well. Companies like Sephora and Neiman Marcus are selling their own CBD products. Meanwhile, Barney’s has opted to create its own line of luxury THC cannabis products for its Los Angeles flagship.


Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

Read more

More GD News