OTC products are a great way to boost revenue in your pharmacy. The new star of the game, CBD, has taken off in popularity in recent years.

CBD is touted for its use in pain management and promoting feelings of relaxation. But selling CBD products comes with its own set of “Do’s and Don’ts”. If you are looking to sell CBD in your pharmacy – or if you already offer it – it’s important to know the legal landscape and make sure you are staying compliant.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient of the cannabis plant, which comes in 2 different forms: hemp and marijuana. The difference is that hemp has considerably less amounts of THC – the psychoactive component. Hemp is technically defined as a cannabis plant that does not contain more than 0.3% THC.

In December 2018, the Agriculture Improvement Act was passed into law – hemp was no longer classified as a controlled substance under DEA regulation.

Despite this important change in the legality of hemp, regulations get a little more complex when it comes to CBD products derived from hemp.

This list will go over some general guidelines to consider when it comes to selling CBD, but be sure to consult with your credit card processor for more information.

When it comes to selling CBD products at your independent pharmacy:

Do Your Research

The more you know about the products you’re selling, the more confident you can be about offering them to your patients. While CBD is a relatively new health landscape, there are resources that can help you get familiar with what it is and how it should be utilized. Here are some places to get started:

Pharmacist’s Guide to CBD Oil


The Intricacies of CBD in the Pharmacy

Do Buy From a Trusted Vendor

Since CBD is not a strictly regulated market, some vendors may be using harmful additives or may not be transparent about the amount of CBD in their products. Only buy from high-end vendors who have quality products that have been tested and certified in a laboratory setting.

Pay attention to potency and purity, as well as bioavailability – the percentage of CBD that is actually absorbed into the bloodstream.

Do Know The Laws In Your State

Laws and regulations around CBD are determined at the state level. Make sure to know the current laws in your state and be compliant with any regulatory requirements to sell CBD.

Do Counsel Your Patients

The bottom line: patient safety is the priority. Make sure your staff is prepared to properly educate patients on CBD and warn them about any potential drug interactions with their current prescriptions.

Don’t Make Unverified Health Claims

When it comes to advertising your CBD products, be careful about making statements on the ability to prevent, treat, or cure any diseases. Many companies have been warned by the FDA to stop making inaccurate claims.

Don’t Label as Dietary Supplement

According to the FDA, “it is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.”  Be aware of this when deciding what products to offer at your pharmacy and how to label them.

Be Mindful About Advertising Online

While this is not an official restriction, many banks and credit card processors typically do not approve of CBD products being advertised on a pharmacy’s website – particularly when the products are not used for topical applications.

They see this as a “high risk” behavior, so just be aware that it may draw unnecessary attention to your store. Try finding other ways to inform your patients and community.

Offering CBD products as part of your OTC selection can be a great way to increase revenue and attract new customers.

Pharmacists are trusted, certified health professionals who can give patients ease of mind and answer their questions about this relatively new product.

Protect your pharmacy and your patients by doing thorough research and training to responsibly sell CBD at your independent pharmacy.

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