Oct 4, 2018

The industries you didn't know weed was infiltrating

Weed bubble bath and body lotion for sale in Los Angeles. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty

We previously reported that big alcohol companies are hedging against a global decline in the booze industry by partnering with cannabis firms for weed-infused drinks.

But, but, but: Beverages aren't the only status quo that legal weed is challenging. Food, fashion, beauty and even paper are seeing cannabis rivals.

The big picture: The global legal marijuana industry is projected to top $20 billion by 2025, writes market research firm CB Insights. And that has unleashed a slew of potential disruptors:

  • Beauty and wellness products are incorporating cannabinoid oil, known to reduce post-exercise inflammation and general anxiety. Movie stars already work cannabis-infused lotion into their feet as prep for long red carpet walks in high heels.
  • Clothing and paper companies will use start to use hemp in the pursuit of sustainability.
  • Cannabis snack-making is becoming a thing, including chocolate cupcakes and potato chips.

Smaller banks are preparing to finance this activity — a move bigger banks might avoid due to risk.

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Why it matters: Trump can easily address the briefing worries by doing fewer, but the lackluster bounce-back planning is what worries Republicans most. 

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Spaces CEO Brad Herman had an early warning about COVID-19 because his startup supplies VR attractions to a number of theme parks in China. Realizing that the business he spent the last few years building was going to evaporate, Herman quickly found a new way to apply his team's know-how: helping companies host Zoom teleconferences in VR.

Why it matters: Many startups are rethinking the viability of their core businesses in the wake of the coronavirus. Spaces' move is one of many such pivots likely to crop up in the coming months.

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The first hospital network in the U.S. has joined an international clinical trial using artificial intelligence to help determine which treatments for patients with the novel coronavirus are most effective on an on-going basis.

Why it matters: In the midst of a pandemic, scientists face dueling needs: to find treatments quickly and to ensure they are safe and effective. By using this new type of adaptive platform, doctors hope to collect clinical data that will help more quickly determine what actually works.

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