Martha Stewart Partners with Canadian Cannabis Firm

AP –  Martha Stewart has now entered the fast-growing — but still legally murky — cannabis market.

The domestic diva who brought us hemp yarn is now partnering with Canada’s Canopy Growth Corp. to develop new products containing CBD, a compound derived from hemp and marijuana that doesn’t cause a high.

First to come, she said, will be a “sensible product for pets.” Neither Stewart nor Canopy Growth is saying if that would be a dog or cat treat, an infused pet food or some other product. They also aren’t saying when and where the products will go on sale, partly because they still face regulatory hurdles. Even Canada, which legalized marijuana last year, is still working out the rules for CBD-infusion in foods.

Proponents say CBD offers health benefits from relieving pain to taming anxiety. Others urge caution until more research is done.

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.

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.

The global market for legal and illegal cannabis is estimated at $150 billion today, according to Euromonitor; by 2025, it estimates the legal market alone will be worth $166 billion.

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