Brands & Products

How CBD Brands Secure Deals with Major Retailers (& How We Can Help!)

Driven by customer demand and interest, retail giants continue to fuel the CBD craze and join the CBD movement. Retail chains across the country are now partnering with CBD brands to offer CBD infused creams, tinctures and oils to the masses. 

Large Retailers Drive CBD Sales

The CEO of Charlotte’s Web, Deanie Elsner, believes that two-thirds of CBD sales will likely come from large retailers. In the company’s second-quarter earnings call she went on to say that “the impact of the retail channel entering into that hemp CBD category should not be underestimated. The size and influence of the food, drug, and mass merchandising retail (FDM) channel will shape how the CBD category develops, and the decisions being made by these massive companies will determine how we need to scale to meet their needs.”

Retail giant CVS started the trend back in March when it signed its first contracts with CBD companies to offer products in eight different states. Since then Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and the Vitamin Shoppe have stated their intention to sell hemp-derived CBD products in the near future. Gas stations and convenience stores are getting in on the action as well, with over 10,000 stores now selling CBD products. 

In this cut-throat market, the big question has become how CBD companies are getting contracts with mainstream retailers and then managing to hold onto them. It’s one thing to get your foot in the door with a company like CVS, but how do those companies maintain their competitive edge?

Read on, as CBD Business Media has a fantastic solution for CBD brands that are wanting to get their products in front of some of the biggest retail buyers. 

How Are CBD Brands Securing Deals?

In a recent interview with Hemp Industry Daily, a few of the CBD companies that have signed deals with mainstream retailers shared some of their strategies for landing contracts with retail giants such as CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger Co. 

Mainstream retailers have been collecting data on independent CBD companies since before the Farm Bill was passed. They have been waiting in the wings for the right time to stock their store shelves with the best performing CBD products, and health food stores provided an adequate proving ground for CBD products in the early days of legalization. 

The CEO of San Diego-based CBD company CV Sciences, Joe Dowling, said “it is raw data at the screener level, aggregated by company, by (product), by region, by store, and so, you can’t hide if you’re not on there, and you can’t hide if you are on there.” Obviously, CBD companies who were able to get on health store shelves early usually had a better shot at getting the big retail contracts. 

One big strategy for CBD companies who have gone mainstream is to ramp up production to accommodate the larger demand needed by bigger retail outlets.

Companies like CVS and Walgreens have hundreds of stores across hundreds of states and require a high volume to fill their shelves. Another strategy employed by some of the top CBD companies is to hire a consumer-packaged goods (CPG) specialist. The bottom line is connections are important and an experienced CPG specialist can usually make inroads with larger brands, as they understand mainstream distribution and often have connections in the industry.  

Additionally, CBD companies are using distributors to help them secure deals with big retail chains. Distributors are able to vet CBD companies and ensure they are compliant with all federal laws. In simple terms, distributors help connect retailers with the best products for their consumer base, while they help manufacturers win retail store shelf space. 

Finally, be transparent. Retail giants like CVS and Walgreens have a reputation to uphold and only want the best products on their store shelves. The more transparent CBD companies are about their products, the more likely large companies will be to sell their products. Retailers want to feel good about the products they are selling. They want to know that their products don’t make wild claims about the effects of CBD and verify their products with independent testing and certificates of analysis. 

Only the Strong Survive Big Retail

With more and more CBD companies entering the CBD market, competition is fierce and space on retail store shelves is limited. CBD companies that hope to make it to the big leagues must be transparent and provide products that comply with federal laws and contain exactly what the label states. 

CBD products that are being sold by companies such as CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, the Vitamin Shoppe, and Kroger will be held to higher compliance standards than products being sold in smoke shops and health food stores. These big retail stores want to ensure that their reputation is upheld and they don’t have to worry about the quality of the products on their shelves. 

CBD Business Media Has Your Solution

We have come up with an additional solution, designed to get your product in front of the eyes of over 40,000 retailers. We have developed a Product Sampler, where retailers can request samples from CBD companies that register their products with us. Here’s how it works:

Interested in getting your product in front of 40,000 retailers? Connect with our Head of Advertising, Casey Walsh at or using the contact number above!

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