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Remember the 2018 Farm Bill? It wasn’t just news – it reshaped the retail landscape by legalizing hemp-derived CBD products (those under 0.3% THC) at the federal level.

Since then, U.S. CBD sales increased across various retail outlets: dispensaries, pharmacies, smoke shops, and even local convenience stores.

To provide some context, the sales of CBD products stood at $4.17 billion in 2022 and by 2026 the market is projected to hit $4.23 billion.

Why? That’s because of the growing consumer interest. A Healthline survey revealed that 1 in 4 U.S. adults (25%) are either using or considering CBD.

So, for those in the retail sector, it's not just about recognizing the market potential; it’s more about understanding the products, laws, state specifics, and consumer preferences.

Top Forms of CBD Products

According to an April 2022 survey, the preferred CBD products include:

  • Gummies or other edibles: 58%
  • Capsules: 55%
  • Oils/tinctures: 55%
  • Lotions: 53%
  • Topicals/serums: 42%
  • Vapes: 32%
  • Flower: 16%
  • Other: 2%

This means the top pick for 58% of respondents was gummies. Close behind were capsules as well as the oil/tincture category preferred by 55% of the respondents.

CBD Usage: Demographic Insights

When considering the demographics of buyers for CBD products, it’s important to note that the preferences may vary based on factors like age, gender, lifestyle, or location.

Here’s the breakdown:

1. Americans between the ages of 18 to 29 use CBD products the most.

  • 18-29 years: 20%
  • 30-49 years: 16%
  • 50-64 years: 11%
  • ≥65 years: 8%

This shows young consumers are more inclined to try CBD as compared to older adults.

2. 10% of men regularly use CBD as compared to 4% of women, when it comes to regular CBD use.
However, women are more likely to use CBD for health reasons. 

Wholesale CBD Products: What to Look for?

Third-Party Testing

Certificate of Analysis (COA): With so many subpar CBD products available on the market, always pay attention to third-party testing when buying from a manufacturer or wholesaler.

Request the supplier to see a certificate of analysis (COA) that details how much CBD, THC, and other compounds are present in the product.

Also, it mentions possible contaminants like pesticides, pathogens, or heavy metals (if any).

This quality control measure will help ensure that the products you’re planning to source are safe for human consumption.

Proper Labelling

Potency: Before getting the products on your retail shelves, ensure the amount of CBD in mg or ml aligns with both the supplier’s statement and product label.

CBD Type: Also, the labels should clearly state whether the product is:

  • Full-spectrum (contains all cannabinoids and plant compounds including THC)
  • Broad-spectrum (contains all cannabinoids and plant compounds except THC)
  • Isolate (contains only CBD and no other cannabis plant compound)

FDA & CBD: An Overview of Legal Regulations

Even with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the FDA's stance on CBD remains there.

  • Drug Approval: Of all the CBD products out there, only one named Epidiolex has been approved and regulated by the FDA.

It’s a pharmaceutical drug that contains pure CBD for the treatment of seizures associated with epilepsy syndromes in patients 1 year of age or older.

  • Food & Dietary Supplements: The agency has clear rules about CBD. Under the FD&C Act, you can't put CBD, which they see as a drug ingredient, in foods or sell it as a dietary supplement across states – for both people and pets.

  • Marketing & Health Claims: When running a CBD retail store, you’ve got to be honest and careful.

If you claim that your products can do wonders regarding disease diagnosis and prevention, you need solid evidence to back it up. The FDA is watching and has sent warning letters to brands that make unsupported promises.

  • Cosmetics: Considering adding a line of CBD-infused cosmetics? It's a growing trend, and the FDA doesn't oppose it.

But watch out for color additives that require pre-market approval. So, make sure you source products that adhere to the established safety and quality standards.

State-Specific Regulations

Different states have their own rules for CBD and those may diverge from federal guidelines.

  • Retail Licensing: Apart from a generic business license, some states require a specialized CBD retail license for selling.

  • Legality Spectrum: The stance on hemp-derived CBD varies widely. In certain states, hemp remains on the Controlled Substances list, making its sale illegal. Yet, in others, the sale of CBD is either conditionally permitted or wholly accepted.

So, always check state laws before committing to any bulk purchase.