It seems the CBD market popped up overnight. Two years ago, it was nearly unheard of in the mainstream, but today it’s everywhere from dog treats to lotions to candy to capsules and even water.

Some think cannabis can be a holistic, natural medicine that will help alleviate myriad issues, but because research is sparse and the legality can be confusing, many others are wary or morally opposed.

Offering a new product category is always a gamble, even if you do your due diligence. But cannabis products (whether it’s CBD oil or home-growing supplies) are still a controversial area for many and require a little extra care.

Because research is limited, many are unsure of what the future holds. Education, for both your staff and your customers, is going to be key if you want to move into this market. There is a LOT of misinformation out there and if you move into the cannabis space, one of the best things you can do is provide accurate information on growing and on local laws regarding cannabis.

The legal status of products containing CBD is complicated. Although it is available in most states, the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, but doesn’t habitually enforce against it. To make matters even more complicated, the government’s position on CBD depends on whether the substance is derived from hemp or marijuana. And CBD food or drink products are still federally illegal.

Also, according to Harvard Medical School, CBD can have side effects like nausea, fatigue and irritability. It can even interact with medications.

But with so many companies trying to cash in on the trend, it’s also important to look at who you’re buying from. Many products are mislabeled and with limited FDA approval for cannabinoids, it can be tough to know what you’re getting when you buy. It’s important to find a trusty supplier.

As CBD continues to become more popular and marijuana gains legality in additional states, we can be sure that more regulations, studies and information are coming down the pipeline. It’s a constantly changing landscape, and one that will require a watchful eye for those involved in the space.

Like anything you sell in your store, it’s all about due diligence and respecting the trust your customers put in you as the expert.

Kate Spirgen