The latest news in the fast moving world of CBD
Jay-Z joins cannabis company as Chief Brand Strategist
It seems that anything Snoop can do, Jay-Z can do better with the news that Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z is the latest celeb to join the fast moving cannabis industry, having entered into a long-term partnership with California cannabis company, Caliva.
Bloomberg reported that the World’s first billionaire rapper will act as Caliva’s Chief Brand Strategist where he’ll no doubt apply what he’s learnt from building his own empire to shape and drive the strategic and creative direction of Caliva as they look to grow their business.
Caliva have a strong social purpose and an interesting element of the partnership is an ambition to ensure ex-prisoners get to benefit from the cannabis boom currently taking place. In a statement, Caliva said they would work to boost the “economic participation of citizens returning from incarceration - through advocacy, job training, and overall employee and workforce development.” When you think Jay-Z’s background, some of which was spent on the wrong side of the law, he’s likely to have the empathy and understanding needed to bring this particular ambition to fruition.
“With all the potential in the cannabis industry, Caliva’s expertise and ethos makes them the best partner for this endeavour.”
Home Office revokes UK Hemp farm licence
There are only 18 Hemp Farms in the UK, and last week the Home Office revoked the licence of one of them. The BBC reported the not-for-profit Hemp farm co-operative Hempen Organics in Oxfordshire has now lost the right to grow hemp in the UK, and had to destroy its entire crop as a result.
After raising no concerns for the previous three years and granting the farm their licence, in November 2018, the Home Office told UK farmers that they could not harvest the lucrative hemp flowers for cannabis or CBD oil but could continue to grow seed and stalk which is the application Hempen submitted. However, the Home Office appears to have changed its mind and told the farm’s owners that they would have to stop their entire production.
In a climate where Governments around the world are granting licences to farms to cultivate hemp this does seem to be a baffling decision. Hempen are not new to hemp farming and are known for their organic and sustainable approach to farming, which extends to the products they produce.
Hempen co-founder Patrick Gillett called on the Government to transfer responsibility for regulating farmers from the Home Office to DEFRA, adding:
“In challenging economic times for British farmers, hemp is offering green shoots of hope as a rare crop that can pay for itself without subsidy. Instead of capitalising on the booming CBD industry, the Home Office’s bureaucracy is leading British farmers to destroy their own crops and millions of pounds’ worth of CBD flowers are being left to rot in the fields.”
Hempen said it was being unfairly penalised and would appeal the decision but whatever the outcome it will be too late for this season’s crop as it’s all been destroyed, and with it a potential loss of up to £2.4m.
On a personal level, I was all set to visit the farm last month to do a feature on them, a visit I was looking forward to as it’s not every day you get to see a Hemp farm in operation. My visit will now take place in September and I’ll provide an update on the latest developments. In the meantime, you can sign a Change.org petition here in support of Hempen and watch their video below on what this decision means to them.
CBD attracts the interest of Big Pharma and Tobacco companies
In a market that projected to be worth $23bn by 2023, the news that big Pharma and tobacco giants are eyeing up the lucrative CBD industry shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
Bloomberg recently reported that a joint consumer healthcare venture formed by Pharma giants GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Pfizer Inc. is studying CBD as part of its effort to ensure it’s the No. 1 consumer pain relief company in the world.
Although no decisions have been made, CEO Brian McNamara said, “The science is young in the space, but we realize it’s something consumers are using in their repertoire, so we are looking at it. Whatever we do, we really want to make sure it delivers on the promise to consumers and delivers real benefit.”
Whilst the European hemp CBD market is currently playing catch-up, its size, hemp cultivation capacity and processing infrastructure will eventually see it equal and maybe even surpass the North American market. With their global reach it makes sense for pharmaceutical companies to be looking at ways to enter this burgeoning market although what that could potentially mean for smaller brands remains to be seen.
With smoking on the wane and vaping on the rise, cigarette maker Imperial Brands Plc acquired a stake in Canadian cannabis firm Auxly Cannabis Group Inc last week as tobacco brands also get set to capitalise on the growth of cannabis-based vaping products in Canada. Not to be outdone, rivals British American Tobacco Plc now have a team looking at cannabis but have stated that they will take their time before making any move.
“It’s something we are looking at very seriously. We’re doing our homework, and we will come to the market at the right time.”
British American Tobacco CEO, Jack Bowles
London leads the way as UK sales of CBD surge
The Telegraph has reported that sales of products containing Sales of CBD oil products have skyrocketed by 99 per cent in the UK, according to new data analysis from online deals platform Wowcher. London leads the way boasting the most sales of CBD products, closely followed by Cardiff and Edinburgh.
Alexis Harrison, Wowcher’s Head of Marketing said that they had seen a surge in sales of CBD products with CBD oil being the most popular. This latest analysis of the UK CBD market shows how quickly the industry is taking off but as we always say, if you’re tempted to try CBD oil make sure you do your research first so you know what you’re buying and that it’s a good quality product.
“It’s clear that the discussion around CBD’s health and beauty properties, hailed by celebrities, has influenced shoppers to rush for this trending ingredient. The popularity of CBD shows no signs of slowing, and we’re happy to offer a range of affordable CBD products to our customers.”
Alexis Harrison, Head of Marketing, Wowcher
Jay-Z Image Credit: Flickr by i am guilty at https://www.flickr.com/photos/82793549@N00/284640446