CBD is officially in everything


August 14, 2019

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Today, Tumblr tumbles to the bottom, and when it comes to Netflix subscribers, the French got ’em, but first…

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The CBD boom is reshaping America’s farmland — but will the high demand last?

As the CBD boom continues, farmers across the country are ditching their former crops in favor of something more chill: hemp.

According to US Department of Agriculture data, the amount of farmland planted with hemp quadrupled in the past year, Quartz reports.

How did this all happen so fast?

Two words — decriminalization and demand.

First, the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp farming legal last year, allowing farmers to start producing hemp plants as long as they are less than 0.3% THC by dry weight.

Then, when the first CBD products appeared — mostly in pain-relieving wellness products — they were hugely successful. 

Demand for CBD-infused everything soon followed… Now, shoppers can buy CBD-infused fast food burgers (thanks, Carl’s Jr.), tea, honey, beer, chocolate, dog treats, bath salts, deodorants, protein powders, hot sauce, coffee, gummy candy, shampoo, and face creams… and the list goes on.

But all that CBD comes from hemp… 

And all that hemp has to be grown

So farmers are scrambling to grow the newest, chillest cash crop. Even farmers who formerly had no interest in hemp are starting to grow it. 

Why? Consider this: An acre of soybeans will make a farmer $500. An acre of hemp could make them as much as $30k.

For now, hemp farming may be a great deal for farmers. But regulators have yet to develop proper oversight practices, and some industry groups worry that hemp prices are still too volatile to take seriously.

No one knows when the high (prices) will wear off…

“The boom is coming mostly from word-of-mouth reports about hemp’s profitability,” reports the Hemp Industry Daily. 

For now, growth is poised to continue: Planting of industrial hemp increased 368% from 2018 to 2019, outpacing all other crops, and some big producers — like Ben & Jerry’s — have expressed interest in buying CBD but are holding off until federal laws become more clear.

But if it turns out that the market for CBD dog treats isn’t as big as it’s being billed, the CBD boom could quickly go bust for the farmers who put all their hemp in one basket…

Hemp demand is HIGH
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Fashion brands got a costly geography lesson from China

American fashion brand Coach, French label Givenchy and Italian luxury brand Versace all apologized to China after suggesting that places like Hong Kong and Macau are separate from China.

The fallout began Sunday, when images surfaced of a Versace T-shirt that paired cities next to their corresponding countries and listed the Chinese metropolis as “Hong Kong — HONG KONG” and the gambling getaway of Macau as “Macau — MACAO.” 

Givenchy and Coach were both busted for the same mistake.

The companies were forced to apologize after notable Chinese social media stars terminated their advertising contracts with the companies.

It’s not the first industry to diss China’s sovereignty

In 2018, China vowed to increase its policing over how overseas companies refer to territories such as Hong Kong and Macau, both of which are Chinese territories but run with a high degree of autonomy.

Since then, airlines, carmakers, hotel operators, and other fashion brands have all come under fire for violating the country’s “One China” policy.

China’s market ain’t nuthin to f*ck with

Chinese people account for 30% of all global luxury spending, and as the yuan takes a nosedive, having good standing with the country is vital for luxury goods makers to survive.

Coach posted a lengthy social media post acknowledging they are “fully aware of the severity of this error.” While Givenchy formally apologized on its Weibo account.

Versace said, “We love China deeply, and resolutely respect China’s territory and national sovereignty.”

» Pullin’ out the stops

Tumblr’s latest tumble: A company once valued at $1.1B sells for less than $3m

Verizon, which has been trying to get rid of Tumblr for months and allegedly considering selling it to Pornhub in May, has finally unloaded the once-mighty blogging platform… for a mere $3m.

WordPress’ parent company, Automattic, made the purchase

Automattic, which is privately owned and is said to be considering an IPO, likely bought the beleaguered blogosphere to tack on a well-known, public-facing division to it business. 

Automattic will reportedly also take on Tumblr’s 200 remaining staffers and plans — to the frustration of many bloggers — to continue the controversial ban on porn that Verizon implemented last year.

But Tumblr may survive after all…

In spite of the chaos surrounding its numerous ownership changes, Tumblr still hosts more than 450m blogs.

So, depending on Automattic’s plans, this latest purchase could finally give the platform enough stability to let its users do what they really want… blog about ugly renaissance babies in peace.

Unlike Yahoo (which bought Tumblr for the now-infamous price of $1.1B in 2013) and Verizon, Automattic is known for its commitment to open source web design — which could help the company succeed where so many others have failed.

» Tumbling… forward?
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French broadcasting networks will take on Netflix with new streaming service

French regulators gave the go-ahead on plans by the country’s broadcasting bigwigs to launch a joint streaming service, Salto, to fight the global giants.

Variety reports that Pubcaster France Televisions has joined hands with its commercial rivals M6 and TF1 on the new subscription platform, which is expected to hit the scene Q1 of 2020.

The streams they are a changin’

As if Amazon and Netflix haven’t taken enough hits from domestic broadcast giants, now France is stepping up to compete against international players on their own territory.

And, with more than 5m Netflix subscribers in France, the leaders of the new streaming consortium are smelling the popcorn potential.

“Now that Salto has been approved, we will at last be able to put together Team France in broadcasting,” said Delphine Ernotte Cunci, CEO of France Televisions.

And it’s not just France

ITV and the BBC have also announced the launch of their “best of British” streaming service, BritBox, later this year.

Netflix has over 130m subscribers in more than 190 countries. As technology gives birth to budding film industries all over the world, the streaming biz only stands to become more competitive for companies like Netflix and Amazon.

» Time to bust out the wine and cheese
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