Selling CBD products can be very beneficial for independent pharmacies and the communities they serve. It’s an evolving market and there are things that a pharmacist needs to consider before adding CBD products to their pharmacy inventory. In this video, Ollin Sykes, CPA of Sykes & Company, P.A. shares about the benefits of selling CBD products in your independent pharmacy. He discusses:
- Why pharmacist should consider selling CBD products;
- The business value of selling CBD;
- Regulations pharmacists need to be aware of; and
- Coordinating with primary care providers.
If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.
Why should pharmacists consider selling CBD products?
What’s happening now with the passage of the Farm Bill in December of ’17, excuse me, December of ’18 is when it was passed. It allows hemp-based products that have 0.03 THC essentially to be noncontrolled drugs. And as a result, full-spectrum CBD products, now, with the medicinal qualities that they have, are becoming, are proliferating, literally across the country as we speak. And with pharmacists being in the best position to advise their patients about potential medicinal qualities of CBD, and with the research that’s been done in the last 20 years on CBD type of products, people and patients are finding tremendous benefits to occur, as a result. CBD is ramping up in this country dramatically, and this obviously provides an opportunity for the pharmacists, which are the leading healthcare professionals in the country, outside, obviously, of one’s physician or dentist, to consult and advise, and frankly, have a very profitable product that could be added to the whole nutraceutical arena.
Is there business value to CBD?
There’s tremendous business value to the sale of CBD products to pharmacists. Typically, these items have a 50% gross margin in today’s environment. That said, there’s some 1,700 manufacturers of CBD products in this country, and there’s gonna be a tremendous consolidation of the manufacturers in the next year or two as many of the smaller carriers are probably either bought up or go out of business. So, the pharmacist needs to make sure that they’re dealing with a higher quality CBD products that are in the industry, the ones that have the necessary staff and training to educate their patients, as well the pharmacist’s staff, who are so critical to the proper performance of the sell of the products in the stores. But the opportunities for business growth are dramatic, and as a result, even the NCPA has put together a separate program for CBD, realizing the massive growth that’s gonna occur as a result of the full passage of the THC being allowed in these hemp products for the market. So, there’s gonna be tremendous opportunities that are coming, two or three years.
What regulations do pharmacists need to be aware of?
There are in various states, still, archaic laws that have to be dealt with either by the state, the statutes themselves, or the State Boards of Pharmacy, although on a national, federal level, a lot of things have been resolved. Each major vendor that you would be talking to would have that information available to you. Obviously you can receive that information from your State Boards of Pharmacy, as well as they’re making it very, this information is very freely available now in the open market. But you need to clearly check that out before you can make a commitment in the process, and at the same time, you probably need to be trained by the vendor that you’re gonna be dealing with, and get your staff trained, because of the myths that are in the industry about what actually it is, and what is does, and what potential benefits that it has. It’s a complicated sale because there’s so much misinformation out in the marketplace.
How should a pharmacist coordinate with primary care providers of patients?
Well, obviously, as pharmacists always do, they recommend that you consult with your prescribers, and I think any really top-notch pharmacist, who is in the CBD business and trying to take care of their patients, would do the same with respect to advising their patients to seek counsel from their local prescribers to make sure that there’s no interactions involved between what they’re taking on a prescribed basis, and CBD. Typically you don’t find that to be an issue, but it’s still, would be a good posture to follow.
Are there other reasons pharmacists should consider selling CBD products?
The largest reason that pharmacists should consider CBD is that the pharmacy is the obvious best place for a patient to get all their healthcare needs resolved. Not at the C-Store on the corner, or the service station down the road that happens to be selling CBD. You have the ability to search out and find the top-quality products in the industry that are represented by your wholesalers and by the National Community Pharmacy Association. And this provides a tremendous benefit to expand you clinical services to patients. In many instances, pharmacies are adding other types of services on top of sale of CBD, including certain testing programs, certain other nutraceuticals. So, with margins on these kinds of things substantially larger than what you would see with the typical filling of scripts, this one provides a wonderful opportunity for the pharmacists, independent, community pharmacists, to take the lead, literally in the country, at providing this source of information, and a high-value product, as well as make money to, and with, their patients.