Could CBD Come to the Boise Co-op? 

click to enlarge - The Boise Co-op is in talks with a third-party supplier about potentially putting CBD products on its shelves. -  - JASON JACOBSEN
  • Jason Jacobsen
  • The Boise Co-op is in talks with a third-party supplier about potentially putting CBD products on its shelves.
For years, said Mo Valko, marketing manager at the Boise Co-op, customers at the popular North End grocery store have asked about CBD products.

"It really started a couple years ago, and we've seen demand increase," she said. "More people are getting comfortable with it."

CBD, or cannabidiol, is often used as a pain killer and relaxant, and it's found in dozens of products, from salves and tinctures to supplements for pets, and the Co-op is making moves to bring them to its shelves. There's also talk of a separate "shop," similar to the Co-op Wine Shop or Pet Shop, negotiating with a "trusted third-party source" to potentially roll them out under its own label.

"We'd sell those under our brand," Valko said. "We're in talks with that company to see if we can get a high-quality product."

There's just one catch: Currently, CBD is derived from cannabis—marijuana—and is currently not legal for sale or distribution in the State of Idaho. Developments at the state and national level may change that, however, as a bill that would legalize hemp headed to the full Idaho Senate on March 28, and the 2018 Farm Bill, signed into law by President Donald Trump in December, reclassifies hemp as an agricultural product.

On the industry side, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies have said they will roll out CBD products in select locations around the country in states where the substance is legal.

CBD does contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, but in trace amounts, and Valko stressed that the Co-op will comply with state and federal laws, and has no intention of selling psychoactive substances.

"I want to be clear: We're not talking about supplying people with marijuana," she said.

For now, the Co-op is watching lawmakers and others in the CBD industry with an eye toward giving its members and customers what they want.

"It's why we expanded to have a wine shop. We try to move in the direction of what our customers are really looking for," she said.

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