Plus: Superyacht sales are booming, a “Stranger Things” playlist, the best way to reheat pizza, and more.
The Pentagon announced it’s opening a new office to study UFOs. The All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO) is the result of several groups, including Navy pilots, describing encounters with unidentified aerial phenomenon.
In today’s email:
Shrooms: Entrepreneurs brace for legalization.
Chart: It’s a yacht boy summer.
Digits: Garbage cans, Quidditch, and Toronto.
Around the web: A “Stranger Things” playlist, cats watching cats, pizza tips, and more cool internet finds.
🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s 10-minute podcast to hear us dive into the money, irony, and egos behind the booming yacht market. Plus: Hard seltzer’s losing its fizz, and more stories to start your week.
The big idea
The psychedelic mushroom biz is simmering
These days, charismatic budtenders will tell you all about the latest weed tinctures and terpenes in stores across the US.
Could the same thing happen with magic mushrooms?
So-called “magic” mushrooms contain psilocybin, a non-addictive hallucinogen. Though legal in Jamaica and the Netherlands, they’ve been outlawed in the US since 1970.
… studies have shown promising results for conditions including depression, anxiety, addiction, and PTSD, leading advocates to push for legalization.
In 2019, Denver voters decriminalized shrooms, and cities including Detroit, Oakland, Santa Cruz, and Vancouver, Canada followed suit.
Decriminalization typically means a substance still isn’t legal, but you won’t go to jail for usage or possession. You might get a fine, like a drug parking ticket.
Oregon has already legalized mushrooms for adults in therapeutic settings and is working on its regulatory framework now.
The blooming biz
Decriminalization was a precursor to medicinal and recreational cannabis use — a global market worth $17.8B in 2021.
Entrepreneurs are getting ready for the same thing to happen with shrooms, where the global pharmaceutical market is expected to hit $6.9B by 2027.
Their methods vary, but it gives them a head start before future legalization — and its fees and regulations — take hold, according toBloomberg.
In Vancouver, Coca Leaf Café blatantly sells magic mushrooms and other psychedelics, netting ~$5k in sales per day.
First Person sells functional mushrooms — legal, non-psychoactive mushrooms believed to have various health benefits like chaga and reishi — as a foot in the door.
Others are popping up underground or online, or taking advantage of loopholes like religious exemptions as some groups have done with ayahuasca.
And if you’re looking to invest, there are several companies that are already publicly traded like these picks from The Motley Fool — a few of which have market caps (pun intended) in the hundreds of millions.
At this point, our psychedelic future seems nothing short of inevitable. Groovy.
Groceries and more: Uber Eats and DoorDash are expanding beyond restaurant delivery to drive more spending on their platforms. New offerings include grocery and alcohol delivery.
Scandalous: A report alleges Elon Musk had an affair with the wife of Sergey Brin, causing Brin to file for divorce and straining the billionaires’ years-long friendship.
So much content: Marvel revealed its upcoming slate at Comic-Con over the weekend, including Wakanda Forever, The Marvels, and a Blade reboot.
Disney after dark: To court more adult subscribers, Disney+ added R-rated content to the platform, including Deadpool, plus a PIN code that lets parents prevent kids from watching it.
Bubbling: With the rise of the “sober-curious” movement, the non-alcoholic beer market is poised for growth globally, including in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Latin America. See how you can capitalize on the trend on The Hustle blog.
The Rules of Yacht Club
Superyacht sales are booming
There’s only one rule in yacht club — the bigger, the better.
1k+ superyachts are on order right now, forcing billionaires to do something they never really have to do: wait.
Why the jump in sales?
Insiders attribute the rise to two reasons:
There are more rich people. Since 1990, the number of US billionaires jumped from 66 to 700+ while the median hourly wage has only increased 20%. The number of gigayachts (yachts over 250 feet) has jumped from under 10 to 170+ during the same time.
The pandemic. Rich folks like social distancing (mostly from neighbors and the paparazzi), and being on a yacht in the middle of the ocean is about as socially distanced as you can get.
If you don’t have the means to join the yacht club, you can still jam to the same tunes. Spotify’s Yacht Rock playlist has 1.2m+ likes, and features smooth tracks from Steely Dan, The Doobie Brothers, and Kenny Loggins.
Eight elevator pitch ideas that crush
Be honest. Is your elevator pitch corny?
Do you have an elevator pitch? Oh, Lord.
You never think you’ll need a tight script detailing your business and product offerings until you end up behind Justin Bieber at the airport. (Steph missed out on that one.)
1) San Francisco is holding a garbage can beauty pageant. Six custom-built models — Salt and Pepper, Slim Silhouette, Soft Square, BearSaver, Ren Bin, and Open Wire Mesh — are being tested on the streets, with each trial unit costing $12k+.
2) Today, Instagram’s tag line is, “Bringing you closer to the people and things you love.” So, like TikTok, right? Since launching Reels, its TikTok clone, engagement on regular, in-feed posts has dropped 44%, according to an analysis of 81m posts.
3) The USPS is going more green than originally planned. Now, 50%+ of its initial $3B order for 50k new vans will be electric, up from 20%. The service’s 212k cars make up ~⅓ of all federally owned vehicles in the US.
4) J.K. Rowling may not have expected Quidditch — the wizards-flying-on-brooms version of rugby she contrived for Hogwarts — to take off in the real world, but it has. It’s now played by ~600 teams across 40+ countries in leagues such as Major League Quidditch and the International Quidditch Association.
5) Toronto — ehem, Torono, as the locals say it — is winning the award for the city with the worst airport of the summer. More than 53% of departing flights between June 1 and July 18 arrived late to their destinations.
AROUND THE WEB
👶 On this day: In 1978, a healthy Louise Joy Brown was born in Manchester, England. She was the first baby to be conceived through in vitro fertilization (IVF).
🍕 How to: The best way to reheat pizza. (Also, the worst way.)
🎵 Haha: Here’s something fun for Spotify users. Search for “Upside Down” to get a personalized playlist to ward off “Stranger Things” villain Vecna.
🤖 That’s interesting:The Wall Street Journal covers AI startups doing very specific work. Like Phuc Labs, which makes e-waste recycling more efficient by rapidly sorting metal particles.
🐈 Aww: And now, cats watching a video game about cats.