• Jeffrey Friedland

GNC Jumps on the CBD Bandwagon

The Health and Wellness Brand to Sell CBD Topical Products Online and in 23 States

April 28, 2019 - The national health and wellness brand, GNC has announced that they will be selling CBD topical products in selected stores in 23 states, the District of Columbia, and online.

GNC is starting with the selling of 12 products that the company describes as “channel exclusive.” The products are manufactured by two companies, Physician’s Grade and Myaderm.

Key to GNC’s strategy is the national retailer’s desire to attract a “growing customer base looking for innovative offerings in the CBD market.”

GNC Holdings, Inc. is a global health and wellness brand. The company is known for quality performance products and nutritional supplements. Its products include both private-label products and national recognized third-party brands, many of which are exclusive to the company. GNC operates through company-owned retail locations, U.S. and international franchises and online. GNC has approximately 8,400 locations, of which approximately 6,200 locations are in the United States, including approximately 2,200 Rite Aid licensed store-within-a-store locations, and franchises in approximately 50 countries.

What does GNC’s announcement mean for CBD product manufacturers and marketers? GNC, following announcements by other major retailers including Walgreens, CVS, Neiman Marcus and CVS, confirms that despite Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uncertainties, that the CBD product category is here to stay. By their actions, these major retailers, as well as hundreds of smaller retailers and manufacturers are essentially saying, “The FDA be damned,” and an invitation to the FDA to “come and get us.”

The tremendous global media attention regarding CBD and its benefits and growing consumer interest in CBD products also serves as a politically explosive minefield that the FDA will likely want to avoid at all costs.

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