Over the last few weeks, two of the largest retail drugstores in the nation, CVS and Walgreens, have both said they want to start carrying hemp-derived CBD products on their shelves.
CVS made the first move by announcing they would be selling CBD products at 800 stores in eight states. In a statement to NBC News, the company said it would soon begin marketing topical CBD products—like creams, sprays and roll-ons, as “an alternative source of relief”—but would not be offering any CBD-based supplements or food additives. They also said they plan to partner with a lab to test the products for efficacy. The company will initially sell the items in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Tennessee.
About a week later, Walgreens stepped up to face its competitor with an even bolder plan: to sell CBD products in 1,500 stores across nine states (show-offs). Like CVS, it will offer topical hemp-based CBD products. Walgreens will test these products in Oregon, Colorado, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, South Carolina, Illinois, Indiana and right here in New Mexico.
Hemp-based CBD sourced from a sanctioned state pilot program was made legal by association when President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC by volume and classified it as “hemp.”
But the Food and Drug Administration says not all CBD products are legal. There is still a ban on selling any over-the-counter CBD food products, supplements or any consumable. This is because CBD is the active ingredient in Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical used to treat a rare form of epilepsy, and therefore illegal to use in food products.
The FDA is reportedly convening a panel this month to discuss the future of CBD and to look at ways to regulate its sale in over-the-counter consumables. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is resigning this month, but CBD's future is probably going to be okay, considering the political and cultural support it's enjoying at the moment.
Signals like the ones we're seeing from CVS and Walgreens are just the first publicly visible signs of future policy changes.
That being said, I should probably mention that the CEO of Whole Foods told reporters earlier this month that if cannabis is legalized, his company might sell marijuana-infused products—a strange signal itself, coming as it does from a company whose parent, Amazon, seems to be making preparations for a hostile takeover of America's grocery store market (but that's a story you'll have to suss out on your own, dear reader).
Advocates have been trying to get opioid use disorder added to the list of qualifying conditions to take part in the New Mexico medical cannabis program for years and years. It finally happened.
Last week the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Advisory Board met to consider adding the condition to the list. Unsurprisingly, they voted unanimously in favor. They also voted to recommend that “substance use disorder” also be added to the list of qualifying conditions, according to NM Political Report.
The board made similar recommendations to the head of the state's Department of Health, Lynn Gallagher, twice during the previous administration's reign of terror, but she ignored it. This time around, with a governor who has openly called for the condition's inclusion and a more sympathetic administration, it's very likely we'll see the experts heeded.
The board voted against adding being older than 65 years of age as a qualifying condition, since symptoms of aging are already covered in the current list.
After a long day of chores and hiking last week, I stopped at CG (6614 Gulton Ct. NE) to check out their selection. The menu was as well-rounded and inexpensive as ever. I ordered a nugget of Dreamin' OG (THC: 21.74%—$8/gram) and headed home to zone right out.
Once I was back home on the couch and packing a bowl, my hips started to squeal in protest and my knees turned to jelly. (I'd forgotten to stretch before a two-hour hike up the mountain, because I'm dumb.) The bud was squishy and wet. It left a resinous coating on my fingers and was tough to break up. It smelled like raisins with woody tones, and the first hit was sweet and swampy.
The flower was so fresh I had trouble getting the first hit going, and it took twice as long as usual to kill the whole thing. This indica-dominant strain flattened me out like a pancake. My aches and pains were a distant memory, but so was any semblance of focus. I stared at objects in the room while thinking about nothing in particular. I watched half an episode of “The Simpsons” and suddenly realized I had no clue what was going on.
By the end of the show, I was drooling peacefully on the couch, the lighter still in my hand and my glasses still sitting on my face. My dog eventually nudged me awake to feed her. I hadn't dreamed at all.
This strain is perfect for those suffering from stress, pain or sleeplessness. It's probably best for nighttime use.