Online natural and organic grocer Thrive Market is returning hemp- and cannabidiol (CBD)-based products to its virtual shelves.
The retailer was forced to stop selling such items in June in response to a request by its merchant processor.
CEO and co-founder Nick Green, announced the return in an email to customers today along with plans to expand the assortment even further.
“Back in June, I shared some disappointing news with you: Due to an internal policy decision at our then-payment processor, we were being required to take down all products containing hemp / CBD from Thrive Market,” Green writes. “While we had no choice but to comply, I promised you that we would do everything we could to get hemp products back on Thrive Market -- even if it meant changing our processor. Well, I'm pleased to announce that over the last six weeks, we've successfully done just that.”
A membership-based retailer, Thrive began carrying a full assortment of hemp-based supplements and topical products about 18 months ago, making it the nation’s first national ecommerce retailer to do so, wrote Green in the blog post.
The U.S. hemp-derived CBD market could grow to a $6 billion industry with the legalization of sales of food and beverages containing CBD from hemp, according to Nielsen.
“Under current law, CBD and THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis) can’t be added to a food or marketed as a dietary supplement,” according to Supermarket News. “However, at the end of May, the Food and Drug Administration held hearings to examine the potential deregulation of CBD from hemp within food and other products and to help clarify existing regulations.”
Los Angeles-based Thrive Market has 500,000 members.
“I want to personally thank all of you who have emailed, called, chatted, and DM'd your words of support over the last several weeks,” Green wrote in today’s email. “Hearing your stories of how CBD has positively impacted your lives, and enhanced your (and your loved ones') general wellbeing reinforced why we started carrying hemp products in the first place -- and why it was so important to take a stand against a policy based more in fear and ignorance than sound legal reasoning or science.”