CVS starts selling CBD-infused products in 8 states

CVS is walking "slowly" into the business of offering CBD products.

In a statement to FOX Business, the drugstore chain said it started selling CBD products, or products with cannabidiol, which is the non-psychoactive component of marijuana, last week in select states across the country.

More than 800 stores in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee will now offer CBD products as part of a distribution deal with Canadian marijuana company Curaleaf Holdings Inc.

“These products include topicals such as creams, sprays, roll-ons, lotions and salves. We are not selling any CBD-containing supplements or food additives.  We have partnered with CBD product manufacturers that are complying with applicable laws and that meet CVS’s high standards for quality," CVS said in a statement.

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CVS CVS HEALTH CORP. 53.63 -1.91 -3.44%

Following the news, CVS CEO Larry Merlo said on CNBC that the move was prompted by its customers, who have used CBD products in the past and said it helped with pain relief for arthritis and other ailments.

However, Merlo said the company plans to walk "slowly" with the new initiative.

"But we think this is something that customers are going to be looking for as part of the health offering," Merlo added.

The move also comes after President Donald Trump signed the farm bill legalizing hemp-derived CBD. However, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD's use in food or beverages.

Curaleaf announced its agreement with CVS during an earnings call on Wednesday. Curaleaf stock, which is listed in Canada, jumped on the news, giving the company a market value of more than $3.1 billion.

The company's CEO, Joseph Lusardi, added Wednesday that it's been in dialogue with several other national retailers for many months now, in addition to CVS, and it's got a number of "potentially exciting partnerships in the pipeline."