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Martha Stewart, one of the most-watched cannabis influencers, said she and her guests “got a little silly” after eating gummy bears at one of her parties.
The 78-year-old lifestyle guru who pals around with noted cannabis enthusiast Snoop Dogg and works in an advisory role with Canopy Growth Corp. (WEED.TO)(CGC) has been decidedly careful to distance herself and her brand from cannabis, which remains a Schedule 1 drug under U.S. federal law.
“I’m not working in the cannabis area, I am working in the CBD area,” she told an audience at the Elevate technology conference in Toronto on Tuesday, in an interview alongside Canopy Growth CEO Mark Zekulin.
Hemp-derived CBD or cannabidiol, which is not considered to be psychoactive, has surged in popularity in recent years based on the perceived wellness benefits. The passage of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill reclassified hemp as an agricultural crop, legally separating it from marijuana with higher levels of THC.
Stewart revealed in June plans to launch a product line in collaboration with Canopy Growth that will span animal care, cosmetics and food products. Speaking at the World Cannabis Congress in Saint John, N.B., she and, then Canopy Growth co-chief executive, Bruce Linton said they expect the first products will assist dogs with mobility and anxiety.
Stewart said she hopes to see her lineup of products ready for retail by mid-2020, pending approval by regulators.
The TV personality and publisher has been somewhat guarded about her personal cannabis use, saying she used CBD-infused creams and patches to attempt to relieve an aching tendon, and administered CBD to several of her dogs. There was also a second-hand high from Snoop Dogg’s blunt at Justin Bieber’s roast.
Asked on Tuesday about her experience tasting edibles, Stewart said: “We all got a little silly. I had a big weekend party up in Maine. In Maine it’s legal and every adult can grow eight plants in the garden. I haven’t seen any in my garden up there yet but I’m sure it’s somewhere on the property. We were all eating gummy bears before dinner and everybody's appetite sort of waned. It seemed to have a very good effect.”
Building brands has been among the biggest challenges for cannabis producers, particularly in Canada where regulations heavily restrict marketing efforts. Stewart is widely-seen as a conduit to engage consumers in key demographics that are less likely to gravitate to cannabis.
Stewart says she is currently engaged in research with scientists at Canopy Growth to develop food products. She has previously spoken about adapting her Martha Stewart Living catalogue of roughly 35,000 original recipes to include cannabis or CBD.
She has also expressed interest in opportunities to develop products that improve the lives of senior citizens, specifically pain-relief alternatives to opiates.