CBD stores are all over, but they are hard to track and regulate

Updated: Jun. 8, 2019 at 9:36 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - CBD is sold at coffee shops, pet stores, and gas stations, and the market still isn’t saturated.

According to the Brightfield group, it might be a $22 billion industry by 2020.

On Monday, another CBD seller opened in Columbia despite the estimated 15 other stores already selling a similar product don’t intimidate them. CBD Charlotte, a store that first opened in North Carolina and is now expanding, believes they are selling a high-quality version of a popular product.

While WIS couldn’t confirm an exact number of CBD sellers, a Google search came up with 15 stores selling the chemical compound in Columbia and the surrounding area. Public records searches, the South Carolina business license office, and other storeowners weren’t able to confirm this number.

“You can buy your tennis shoes at Walmart, but you’re gonna go to the Nike store to buy really nice tennis shoes,” said Jessie Darnell from CBD Charlotte adding, “This isn’t regulated. You can go to the gas station to get CBD.”

She is right.

The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved using CBD at this time. They have approved one drug that contains CBD for seizures specifically caused by one of two syndromes.

Last week, the FDA held its first hearing on CBD where supporters explained how they use CBD and how the substance has improved their lives. Doctors told the FDA they need to do more research on the compound.

“We are rapidly getting behind the curve in terms of what is happening in the real world and what patients are utilizing,” said Dr. Igor Grant from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

According to an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, about 70% of the CBD markets are mislabeled. They either have more or less CBD in them than advertised.

CBD store owners, rather than retailers that simply sell CBD, said they are here to self-regulate and provide a reliable product in the meantime.

CBD Charlotte said they partner with a lab for third-party testing of their products.

However, there is another reason these stores are opening. If laws change to not only regulate CBD but allow for the sale of medical or recreational marijuana, they want to be ready.

“As soon as it becomes legal and safe to distribute we will do that,” said Darnell, “but until then we will distribute all the great CBD we can to you.”

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