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American Eagle exec says there shouldn't be an age restriction on CBD, as the retailer prepares to add hemp products

Key Points
  • Apparel retailer American Eagle and cannabis company Green Growth Brands announced a partnership earlier this month to sell CBD products.
  • "We are sticking to just topical CBD, which all the evidence shows is safe," Chad Kessler says.
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American Eagle's Kessler on why the company will sell CBD products

An executive for American Eagle told CNBC on Tuesday the company doesn't think there should be an age restriction on CBD use. The retailer, which focuses on apparel for teens and young adults, is gearing up to add topical products containing the hemp extract in October.

"We don't think there should be an age restriction. As I said, we are sticking to just topical CBD, which all the evidence shows is safe," Chad Kessler, a global brand president for American Eagle, said on CNBC's "Closing Bell. "

American Eagle and cannabis company Green Growth Brands announced a partnership earlier this month to put CBD products on the retailer's shelves. Green Growth said it also has partnerships with Abercrombie and DSW.

The Food and Drug Administration maintains there are still questions about the safety of CBD. Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC in June that CBD is not a "benign compound" and that it should be regulated to protect consumers from possible unknown side effects.

Kessler said his company and Green Growth have developed an exclusive line that will set the apparel company apart from competitors and that Green Growth is the only cannabis company American Eagle is working with.

"We have a lot of confidence in their supply chain to make sure their product is clean and safe," Kessler said.

Congress legalized CBD derived from hemp last December, but it is unclear exactly how CBD products will be regulated. CBD does not cause a high like THC, another cannabis product, but the FDA currently bans the sale of the compound in food products. Other retailers that have added CBD products include Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid.

Kessler said the company is planning an education effort for customers and parents of customers who might be unsure or wary of products.

"We know that not everybody's going to be excited about it, but we do intend to do a lot of education to ease the concerns that parents or customers might have," Kessler said.

Shares of American Eagle are down more than 8% so far this year.

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Key Points
  • The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs hosted a hearing on banking cannabis.
  • Witnesses testified on the challenges cannabis companies face in states where marijuana is legal. 
  • Aside from committee chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, none of the Republican committee members attended.