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Teen apparel retailer American Eagle Outfitters is following in rival Abercrombie & Fitch's footsteps by getting into the booming CBD business.
Ohio-based cannabis company Green Growth Brands announced Thursday that it has struck a deal with American Eagle to begin selling its CBD-infused body-care products — including muscle balms and lotions — in nearly 500 of American Eagle's stores and online, with sales expected to begin in October.
GGB says American Eagle marks its third major wholesale partner to date, with the others being Abercrombie and DSW. More companies seem to be getting on board the trend, or at least considering it, as the CBD industry has the potential to become a $22 billion business by 2022, according to cannabis-focused research firm Brightfield Group.
In December, Congress legalized CBD derived from hemp. The nonintoxicating cannabis compound is being added to just about everything, including makeup, tea, pet treats, and soft drinks — flouting U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules that prohibit it from being added to food, beverages, and dietary supplements. Amid the regulatory murkiness around these products, more retailers feel comfortable stocking skin-care and beauty products, like those of GGB.
Even though consumers' interest is surging, many mainstream retailers such as Walmart and Target have largely stayed on the sidelines. Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and specialty retailers GNC and Vitamin Shoppe have introduced CBD products to stores in a few states, while luxury department store chain Barney's earlier this year opened a "cannabis lifestyle shop" in its Beverly Hills store, called "The High End," selling exclusive vaporizer pens and pastilles.
Some mall owners are also getting on board.
CBD doesn't get users high like THC, another cannabis compound. Still, some people — including regulators — worry about possible unintended consequences of marketing cannabis products to minors.
American Eagle shares are down about 14% this year.