Have a prepared list of questions. Where are products
manufactured and by whom? Is it the suppliers’ unique
formula, or did they purchase it elsewhere? What are the
Lastly, Grace emphasizes the importance of education.
“Invest in companies that understand, value and are prepared to deliver to this reality. Consumer demand is strong,
but so is confusion,” he says.
And demand for nonedible products spans nearly all
ages and demographics. “We are all one or two degrees
away from someone who can really benefit from CBD,”
That’s why nonedibles can be an opportunity for retailers eager to safely play in the CBD space.
“You have all these subcategories: pain, beauty, pet,
The Pros of Nonedible
inflammation, anxiety, sleep—everybody needs that,” says
Patterson. “It’s not an age thing, it’s not a gender thing. It’s
the blueprint for a multibillion-dollar category.”
“The pet market is coming on strong,” says Vincent Gil-
len, VP of sales for Tampa, Fla.-based Hemp Bombs. “A lot
of stores are worried about the legal risk, so pet is an easy
way for them to test the waters with CBD.”
One of the biggest selling points for retailers regarding
nonedible CDB products is the lack of legal uncertainty.
CBD regulations thus far—both at the federal and local
level—have focused almost exclusively on ingestibles.
“Nonedible is just a safer space because of the confusion
surrounding the FDA’s statements or different municipal-
ity statements,” says Patterson of MarketHub Retail Ser-
vices. “Retailers have to be safe.”
It’s why many of the major grocery and drug retail chains
are choosing to launch CBD with just nonedible products.
It’s the path Kroger, Walgreens and CVS have all opted for.
“The announcement that CVS was going to carry topicals,
I think, helped a lot of other retailers become comfortable
with topical-only CBD,” says Merle of Floyd’s of Leadville.
And for retailers already carrying edible CBD, nonedibles can be a way to grow the category without the risk of
cannibalizing existing sales. While a customer may choose
to purchase either a tincture or a capsule pack, that same
customer might also pick up a CBD salve or dog treat. “It’s
really trying to come up with different items that sell but
don’t take away from sales on the other items,” Gillen says.
Picking the Right Product
As with any hot new category, there is an inherent risk in
carrying the wrong product. “If a CBD product doesn’t
work for my mother’s eye wrinkles, she’s not going to
think it works for sleep,” says Patterson. “If it doesn’t work,
you’re going to lose the category.”
Nonedible CBD products require some vetting. Pat-
terson notes that there are certain ways tinctures and
gummies are made. Not so with beauty, pet products and
“The topical-product category seems rushed in most
cases,” says Grace of HempFusion Inc. “Many products
have seemingly been quickly thrown together and utilize
ingredients such as parabens that are counterintuitive to
health and wellness and to the CBD movement.”
To ensure a quality product and supplier partner, retail-
ers are encouraged to:
Test the products, making sure the CBD dosage adver-
tised is what’s in there.
Determine boundaries for full spectrum, broad spectrum or isolate. Although there’s less of a chance of tetra-hydrocannabinol, a psychoactive ingredient of cannabis
known as THC, entering the bloodstream with a nonedible product, it’s still a possibility.
Projected CBD Revenue by Form in 2025
* Capsules, tinctures, gummies