Lifestyle authority and television personality Martha Stewart has entered a business partnership with Canopy Growth, one of the globe's largest marijuana producers, to develop hemp-derived CBD products.
Stewart will play an advisory role at Canopy and will assist in developing a broad new line of animal health products, the company said Thursday. The partnership includes Sequential Brands Group, a consumer brands company in the fashion, active and home categories that works with Stewart.
With several clinical trials underway, the company said it plans to leverage Stewart's consumer experience while exploring the effects of CBD on human and animal health.
"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," said Stewart. "I'm especially looking forward to our first collaboration together, which will offer sensible products for people's beloved pets."
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.
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. Although companies are prohibited by the Food and Drug Administration from adding CBD to food, beverages and dietary supplements in the U.S., many are doing so anyway.
For weed growers, partnerships with iconic names like Stewart are key to building consumer trust. Even though people are becoming more comfortable with cannabis, there's still some taboo they'll need to overcome. And that's where celebrity partnerships and joint ventures come in handy. Tilray, another Canada-based pot grower, recently collaborated with Authentic Brands to develop cannabis-infused foot creams, cosmetics and other consumer products.
"As soon as you hear the name Martha, you know exactly who we're talking about," said Bruce Linton, Canopy Growth chairman and co-CEO. "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."
For Canopy, Stewart's name graces hundreds of products at more than a dozen retailers. One can buy Martha Stewart shoes at Aerosoles, Martha Stewart organization products at Staples, Martha Stewart roses at BloomsyBox and a Martha Stewart rolled and stuffed hampshire porchetta roast at Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, to name a few.
Based in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canopy Growth operates 10 licensed marijuana and hemp production sites with over 4.3 million square feet of production capacity. In the company's most recent quarterly earnings report, Canopy said it sold 10,102 kilograms (10.1 tons) of pot and pot equivalents in October through December alone.
Stewart isn't Canopy's first celebrity partnership.
Canopy subsidiary Tweed unveiled a partnership with entertainment and cannabis icon Snoop Dogg in February 2016, complete with curated content and brand strategy. Later that year, Tweed began selling three varieties of cannabis in Canada under the "Leafs by Snoop" brand, including varieties dubbed "Sunset," "Ocean View" and "Palm Tree" in a nod to the rapper's California heritage.