🍭 Candymakers vs. Cannabis fakers


May 26, 2021

{date(‘MMMM dd, yyyy’,time(“now”))}
The Hustle

If you wanted the GameStop saga to end, we have bad news: A Vegas man opened a Shopify store that only sells Wall Street Bets merch — like “diamond hands” and “GameStonk” T-shirts.

The big idea
candy edibles

Candymakers want weed companies to stop mimicking them

Candy companies don’t want you to confuse cannabis edibles with their products. And, tbh, you probably don’t want that for you either.

Now Big Candy is going after the weed biz.

Wrigley Jr. Company — owned by Mars Inc. (the private candymaker with $40B a year in sales) — has filed a complaint against several cannabis companies, saying they use packaging that closely resembles Skittles, Starburst, and Life Savers, The New York Times reports.

The key issue is intellectual property…

… but the suit also notes that someone, potentially a child, could accidentally get themselves high.

Edibles make up 10% of the cannabis market. Last year, 554 kids accidentally consumed them, compared to 19 such cases in 2010, per The Washington Post.

Though not fatal, side effects can be dangerous.

Widespread recreational legalization is one factor in the rise

But another is confusion caused by similar branding.

In 2020, a 5- and 11-year-old were hospitalized after eating “Medicated Nerds Rope” mistakenly distributed by volunteers at a Utah food bank.

Ferrara Candy Company (the real Nerds maker) later sued a California-based cannabis delivery business over the misleading product. A judge ordered the company to stop selling it.

Hershey Company and Mondelez International (maker of Sour Patch gummies — which our writers devour on deadline) have filed similar complaints.

Candy confusion has been an issue in other industries, too

  • In 2018, the FDA went after vaping and e-cigarette products packaged like sweets
  • Candy cigs have fallen out of favor and Walmart banned them, but you can still buy them online

For real, though, check these Starburst knock-offs: it’s absurd.

Source: The New York Times

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
SNIPPETS

DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against Amazon, claiming the ecommerce giant manipulates prices to dominate its competition. #big-tech

The New York Times unravels how TikTok turned a teen’s birthday party into a full-blown rager in the streets of Huntington Beach, California. #big-tech

Now on “My First Million”: deciphering the secrets of billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, who acquires companies then sells their private jets. #mfm

As Bitcoin stabilizes, the Biden admin is wondering whether protections are needed for investors. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Katy Huff sold millions in ads for The Hustle. Here’s her 3-part process. #hustle-picks

Homeland Security will issue cybersecurity regulations for pipelines following the hack that cost Colonial Pipeline $4.4m. #privacy

Whoa. OVR Technology is making virtual reality you can smell by putting vials of fragrances into a headset. #emerging-tech

Startup Bowery Farming snags $300m in Series C funding, which it will use to scale its indoor vertical farms and proprietary tech. #clean-energy

Single-family home sales dropped by 5.9% in April as median sales prices climbed 20.1% from last year, in part due to pricier building materials. #ecommerce-retail

Whatnot — the digital marketplace for geeky collectiblesraises $50m for livestream shopping. #ecommerce-retail

State of VC
Silicon Valley

Source: 8bu

The United States of Venture Capital

In the very first scene of HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” Big Head complains, “Money [is] flying all over Silicon Valley, but none of it ever seems to hit us.”

Well, Big Head, it might be time for a move to Ann Arbor, Raleigh, or Atlanta.

America’s VC landscape is shifting. Literally.

According to a new Crunchbase report, ~$161.5B of venture capital flowed into US companies in 2020.

What’s not surprising: California, Massachusetts, and New York made up 73.1% of that total, with California alone grabbing 52.2%.

Here’s what might surprise you: 14 states — including Colorado, Minnesota, and Washington — saw at least $1.5B in VC funding in 2020. Only 6 attracted that much in 2016.

With tech talent increasing and spreading across the country, secondary markets are getting hot (we previously covered VC funding in the midwest).

Especially for wolverines, tar heels, and peaches

VC growth in Michigan, North Carolina, and Georgia is on fire. Between 2016 and 2020:

  • Michigan saw venture funding spike ~886% to $3.1B
  • North Carolina saw it jump ~410% to $4.1B
  • Georgia’s grew 142%+ to $2B

Some VCs are specifically focusing on entrepreneurial regions that don’t already have a TV show about them, like Panoramic with its new $300m fund.

Who knows, soon we might see a show about startups in Ann Arbor called Wolverine Den.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
New Funding Alert
Firefly transcription

AI transcription service gets $14m boost

Pencils down, class. A virtual transcription assistant is here to make physical note taking obsolete.

Fireflies has raised $14m, per VentureBeat, which it will use to expand services and hire more people.

The startup uses AI to record video meetings…

… and automatically transcribe the audio with 90% accuracy, the company says. It can also transcribe prerecorded audio.

On top of making Zoom meetings more accessible to employees who are deaf or hard of hearing, other handy features include:

  • A transcript search function
  • Comments and reactions
  • Integration with other platforms, like Slack, Dropbox, Zapier, and CRMs

Fireflies is free until users hit 3k minutes

Then teams can pay for monthly ($10-$19) or custom plans with more space and perks.

CEO Krish Ramineni told VentureBeat the tech was used by 200k+ organizations last year, during which revenue also jumped 3x.

That makes sense because digital meetings were necessary during the pandemic…

… and they’re likely to stick around:

  • A study that surveyed 22k+ working-age Americans estimated 23% of workdays will stay remote, 4x more than before the pandemic.
  • Another found that ~81% of respondents want to stay home all or some days.
  • In March, Zoom still expected a 41%+ revenue jump this year, even as pandemic restrictions relaxed.

Bonus: Letting AI take your notes may reduce Zoom fatigue.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
Podcast

How to make millions with courses, explained

From bootstrapped to venture-backed, course businesses are raking in millions. On episode #183 of My First Million, Shaan and Sam break down the entire courses industry. They talk about the simple formula individuals are using to net $1m+ in profits to how a course company sold for $3.5B.

The guys also talk:

  • How one company has generated billions creating an “Irish Pub as a Service” business
  • Why selling ice may become a big business
  • How you can profit from office vacancies
Listen here →
TRENDS

The New Age spiritualism industry is taking off

When Sanctuary raised $3m of VC funding in early May, investors took note. So far this year, searches for zodiac sign facts are up 500%, while manifestation techniques are up 105%.

Our Trends analysts took a deep dive into how you can get into the New Age market. In our latest Trends report, we covered:

  • How top astrology apps brought in $40m in 2019
  • How to do $150k+ in sales on Etsy from horoscope gifts
  • Crystal sets that are bringing in $160k/month on Amazon
  • And other niche opportunities for founders

Get access to the full report and hundreds of others by joining the Trends community — try one week for just $1.

Manifest margins →
Ad of the day

Good news on the movie theater front. The 9th installment of the Fast & Furious franchise (F9) just recorded the biggest movie opening of the pandemic: The film took in $162m+ internationally (80%+ of that figure came from China).

Hopefully, this means a return to clever studio billboard ads… like this one for BBC’s Dracula, which changes as day turns into night.

Source: BBC / AdWeek

SHARE THE HUSTLE
Hustle Cons Greatest Hits ebook

Over the years, we’ve learned… secrets.

The business secrets, tips, and tricks that have helped founders go from zero to millions — and even billions — of dollars.

Want to see ‘em? Just refer {3-referral_count} more friends to The Hustle and we’ll send you our curated set of interviews with founders from brands like Zola, AWAY, Vungle, Bonobos, and more.

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Stickers

Laptop lookin’ sparse? Water bottle lookin’… clear?

You’re only {5-referral_count} referrals away from your first Hustle swag, Sam’s Stickers. Slap a few of these bad boys on the ol’ laptop and let everyone in the coffee shop know that you know. You know?

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Pint Glass

Look at you, smarty pants. You’ve already shared The Hustle with {referral_count} friends and enemies.

But hey, just because you’re a business nerd doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a cool bevvy. Get {10-referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you a pint glass etched with The Hustle logo.

Anyway, here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Ambassador Rewards

You’re only {15-referral_count} referrals away from earning our signature dad hat meant for ladies, gents, and dads alike to show folks they’re in the club.

Here’s a message you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Always be Hustlin' tee

You’re close to the most coveted item in Hustle-land: The Always Be Hustlin Tee.

The fabric? Luxurious. The cut? Relaxed, yet refined. The message? Indisputable.

Share this link with {25 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Hustle Hoodie

Damn, you’re on a roll. You’ve got the pint glass. You’ve got the hat. It’s time to complete your collection, don’t you think?

Get {50 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you our favorite piece of Hustle swag: The Startup Sweatshirt. Slipping into this piece of fleece might just transport you to Silicon Valley (or maybe somewhere better, your pick).

Share this link to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Trends Screenshot

Hey, we see you. You’re out there spreading the gospel of The Hustle like it’s nobody’s business. Seems like you might be ready for a little more…

Get {100 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll slide you a free subscription to Trends.

And no, this ain’t an ad. We just think you’re the kinda person who would thrive in our top-tier community (it’s usually $299) full of founders, investors, and builders (AKA ambitious, no B.S. business folks like you — and enjoy our premium research and content.

Share this link with {100 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Plane

If you love us so much why don’t you just marry us?

Get {1000 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll fly you to The Hustle HQ in beautiful, downtown eastern Austin, Texas. Round-trip flight, 2 nights in a hotel downtown, and some wining and dining with The Hustle fam.

Heck, you practically work here anyway. Copy & paste this link to share:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →

How did you like today’s email?

Join 1.5m+ professionals getting The Hustle daily news brief

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free, no ads or spam, unsubscribe anytime

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.

[email-submission-form redirect-to-home="true" button-text="Join Free" include-trends-opt-in="true" id="main-signup-form" fail-url="" success-url="https://thehustle.co/signup" default-source="thehustleco" default-campaign="home"]
<script type="text/javascript"> var onloadCallback = function() { grecaptcha.render('verify-your-humanity', { 'sitekey' : '6LdddrcZAAAAALyttpvOqiwQGwq5BNhgDz4tMQGE' }); }; function getCookieValue(a) { var b = document.cookie.match('(^|[^;]+)\\s*' + a + '\\s*=\\s*([^;]+)'); return b ? atob(decodeURIComponent(b.pop())) : ''; } function setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, cookieName, defaultValue) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; var existingVal = el.getAttribute('value'); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName) || getCookieValue(cookieName); if ((existingVal == null || existingVal == '' || existingVal == defaultValue) && (newVal != null && newVal != '')) { el.setAttribute('value', newVal); } } function setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm( wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, defaultValue ) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; if (el != null) { var existingVal = el.getAttribute("value"); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName); if (newVal != null && newVal != "") { el.setAttribute("value", newVal); } } } function initForm() { var wrappingDivs = document.getElementsByClassName('email-submission'); wrappingDivs.forEach(wrappingDiv => { var sp = new URLSearchParams(window.location.search); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-source', 'utm_source', 'funnel_source', 'thehustleco'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-campaign', 'utm_campaign', 'funnel_campaign', 'home'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-medium', 'utm_medium', 'funnel_medium', ''); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-referral', 'ref', 'funnel_referral', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-a', 'a', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-c', 'c', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-o', 'o', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-oc', 'oc', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-e', 'e', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-f', 'f', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-r', 'r', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-t', 't', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s1', 's1', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s2', 's2', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s3', 's3', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s4', 's4', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s5', 's5', ''); var error_message = getCookieValue('funnel_error_message'); if (error_message && error_message.trim() != '') { var error = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('funnel-error')[0]; var prev_email = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); error_message = prev_email + " is not valid. Please try again"; error.innerHTML = error_message; error.style = ''; } }); if (false) { initCaptchaFormV2(); } } function initCaptchaFormV2() { var v3RecaptchaResponseEl = document.getElementById('recaptcha-response-v3'); v3RecaptchaResponseEl.parentNode.removeChild(v3RecaptchaResponseEl); var wrappingDiv = document.getElementById('main-signup-form'); var subForm = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('email-submission')[0]; var captchaVersion = document.createElement('input'); captchaVersion.class = 'g-recaptcha hidden-input'; captchaVersion.type = 'hidden'; captchaVersion.name = 'g-recaptcha-response-v2'; captchaVersion.value = 'true'; subForm.appendChild(captchaVersion); var captchaEl = document.createElement('div'); captchaEl.id = 'verify-your-humanity'; subForm.appendChild(captchaEl); var captchaApiScriptEl = document.createElement('script'); captchaApiScriptEl.src = 'https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api.js?onload=onloadCallback&render=explicit'; captchaApiScriptEl.async = true; captchaApiScriptEl.defer = true; document.head.appendChild(captchaApiScriptEl); } function appendCheckboxes() { var optInDivs = document.querySelectorAll('.trends-opt-in'); optInDivs.forEach(el => { if (el.getElementsByClassName('trends-opt-in-checkbox').length < 1) { var checkbox = document.createElement('input'); checkbox.setAttribute('class', 'trends-opt-in-checkbox'); checkbox.setAttribute('type', 'checkbox'); checkbox.setAttribute('name', 'trends_opt_in'); var label = document.createElement('label'); label.setAttribute('class', 'trends-opt-in-text'); label.textContent = "Yes, I'd like to receive updates on market opportunities before they explode from Trends by The Hustle"; el.appendChild(checkbox); el.appendChild(label); checkbox.click(); } }) } window.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', (event) => { var funnel_email_cookie = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); if ( (true) && (funnel_email_cookie != null && funnel_email_cookie != '') ) { window.location.replace('/home'); } initForm(); if (true) { appendCheckboxes(); } }); </script> <div class="email-signup" id=main-signup-form> <div class="funnel-error" style="display:none;"></div> <form class="email-submission" action="https://cms.thehustle.co/api/v1/contacts/wordpress_create" method="post"> <input class="funnel-source hidden-input" type="hidden" name="source" value="thehustleco"> <input class="funnel-campaign hidden-input" type="hidden" name="campaign" value="home"> <input class="funnel-medium hidden-input" type="hidden" name="medium"> <input class="funnel-referral hidden-input" type="hidden" name="referral_code"> <input class="funnel-fail-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="fail_url" value=""> <input class="funnel-a hidden-input" type="hidden" name="a" value=""> <input class="funnel-c hidden-input" type="hidden" name="c" value=""> <input class="funnel-o hidden-input" type="hidden" name="o" value=""> <input class="funnel-oc hidden-input" type="hidden" name="oc" value=""> <input class="funnel-e hidden-input" type="hidden" name="e" value=""> <input class="funnel-f hidden-input" type="hidden" name="f" value=""> <input class="funnel-r hidden-input" type="hidden" name="r" value=""> <input class="funnel-t hidden-input" type="hidden" name="t" value=""> <input class="funnel-s1 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s1" value=""> <input class="funnel-s2 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s2" value=""> <input class="funnel-s3 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s3" value=""> <input class="funnel-s4 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s4" value=""> <input class="funnel-s5 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s5" value=""> <input class="funnel-success-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="success_url" value="https://thehustle.co/signup"> <input id="recaptcha-response-v3" class="g-recaptcha hidden-input" type="hidden" name="g-recaptcha-response" value=""> <input class="signup-email" type="email" name="email" placeholder="Your email address" required> <input class="email-submit" type="submit" value="Join Free"> <div class="trends-opt-in"></div> <div submit-success> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--success">Thank you for subscribing.</p> </template> </div> <div submit-error> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--failed">Your submission failed. Please try again!</p> </template> </div> </form> </div>