Commentary

Martha Stewart Advising Cannabis Firm On Hemp-Derived CBD Products

Martha Stewart will be helping the Ontario, Canada-based cannabis and hemp company Canopy Growth Corp. -- “WEED” on the Toronto Stock Exchange -- to develop and position “a broad new line of product offerings across multiple categories,” starting with health and wellness merchandise for pets and farm animals.

“The deal between Sequential Brands Group Inc., which owns the Martha Stewart brand, and Canopy will seek to leverage Stewart’s knowledge of consumer products in the launch of products based on CBD, the non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana,” reports Reuters’ Nivedita Bhattacharjee.

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“The collaboration comes as Canada’s major cannabis producers scramble to secure market share in the nascent U.S. and Canadian markets. Demand for marijuana and THC products has skyrocketed in Canada following its decision to legalize recreational use in October, leading to supply shortages across the country,” write Thomas Franck and Angelica LaVito for CNBC.com

“Interest in CBD, or cannabidiol, is already booming. That will likely only increase as more recognizable brands introduce their own CBD products into the market,” they add.

“While Stewart and a cannabis company may seem like a strange partnership, Canopy Growth said she was an obvious choice due to her passion for animals and wellness as well as her decades of retail experience,” Joelle Goldstein writes for People.

Indeed, “Stewart’s own pets, which are often featured on her Instagram account, include Chow Chows, French bulldogs, Persian cats, a Fell pony, and Friesian horses,” Bess Levin writes for Vanity Fair.

“As soon as you hear the name Martha, you know exactly who we’re talking about,” Canopy Growth chairman and co-CEO, Bruce Linton says in the release announcing the collaboration. “Martha is one of a kind and I am so excited to be able to work alongside this icon to sharpen our CBD product offerings across categories from human to animal.”

“I am delighted to establish this partnership with Canopy Growth and share with them the knowledge I have gained after years of experience in the subject of living,” says Stewart, who has enjoyed 77 experiential years.

“While the substance has become all the rage in the U.S. in recent years as companies develop all sorts of products ranging from coffee and ice cream to body lotion, marijuana itself has been used for medical purposes for thousands of years,” writes Erin Corbett for Fortune.

“CBD is a non-addictive substance found in the cannabis flower. It doesn’t cause a high for the user, as is the case with THC, and is often used to treat medical conditions, such as body pain and inflammation, and anxiety, among others. CBD has also been used as a therapeutic, anti-anxiety supplement for pets.”

“The U.S. legalized hemp cultivation at the end of last year, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently warned that is still illegal to add CBD or THC -- the compound that gives pot its high -- to human or animal food and transport it over state lines. It has also cracked down on CBD-infused products that make health claims,” the AP’s Dee-Ann Durbin writes for 30ABCStLouis.com.

“Starting in October, New York City will fine restaurants if they offer CBD-infused food or drinks. California has also banned hemp-derived CBD as a food additive. Still, most in the cannabis industry expect those hurdles will eventually fall as the federal government clarifies the law and public opinion changes. Already, 33 U.S. states allow adult use of medicinal marijuana,” Durbin continues.

“Canopy last month announced that it will build its first U.S. hemp facility, investing up to $150 million in an industrial park in upstate New York. The location of the site will be announced in the coming months,” Sarah Min writes for CBSNews.com.

Meanwhile, Canada's Tilray is working with Authentic Brands Group on a line of consumer products. Authentic Brands manages a portfolio of 50 brands, including Michael Jackson, Shaquille O'Neal, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley,” Min adds.

“I’m thinking of getting something tattooed across my forehead that says ‘disruptor,’” Canopy CEO Linton says in a well-scripted interview with CNN’s Julia Chatterley. 

“Because what cannabis is, is a disruptive agent towards pharmaceutical, alcohol, sports recovery. And the reason it’s a disruptor is prohibition is a very funny thing,” Linton continues. It means that what could be an agent, an ingredient, an outcome achievable, isn’t considered, contemplated or used by all the big guys who got big without that prohibited agent not part of their world. Well guess what? It’s now part of their world.”

And, with Martha Stewart’s help, it increasingly will be part of Fido’s and Felix’ bag of tricks, too.

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