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Martha Stewart teams up with world’s biggest cannabis company

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Martha Stewart, shown Jan. 10, will help cannabis giant Canopy Growth develop a “broad new line” of products for humans and animals.
(Cindy Ord / Getty Images)

Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart is teaming up with the world’s largest cannabis company, taking on an advisory role at Canopy Growth Corp. to help develop a “broad new line” of products for both humans and animals.

“I am looking forward to working with the Canopy Growth team,” Stewart said in a statement Thursday. “I’m especially looking forward to collaborating on developing products that can help people and their treasured animal companions.”

Stewart, 77, is an animal lover who co-hosts a cooking show with rapper and well-known pot connoisseur Snoop Dogg.

Canopy, based in Smiths Falls, Canada, is conducting several clinical trials exploring how cannabis compounds can improve human and animal health, including research into the effectiveness of CBD, a non-intoxicating compound, to treat anxiety in animals. Cannabidiol, its formal name, has soared in popularity and is thought by its proponents to help with everything from stress to inflammation and insomnia.

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“It’s really about duration and quality of life for animals that respond well to CBD,” Canopy Chief Executive Bruce Linton said in an interview, adding that hemp is an easily digestible protein that can be added to pet food.

Shares of Sequential Brands Group Inc., which owns the Martha Stewart media and merchandising brands, surged Thursday, although it wasn’t clear whether the company would be involved in the partnership. The shares soared nearly 56%, their biggest one-day gain since 2012, before subsiding a bit; they were up 27.5% at $1.53 around 9:40 a.m. Pacific time. Canopy shares rose as much as 4.8% in Toronto.

The U.S. farm bill, passed in December, legalized CBD derived from hemp under certain circumstances. But the Food and Drug Administration has said any CBD product marketed as having therapeutic benefits must be approved for its intended use before being introduced into interstate commerce. Cannabis is legal in Canada but not yet in food and beverage form.

Canopy announced in January that it will spend as much as $150 million to build a hemp facility in New York state, its first production plant in the United States. Linton expects the company to eventually have hemp facilities in multiple states.

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