From Whoopi Goldberg to Martha Stewart, celebrities are developing new cannabis ventures

Martha Stewart has launched her own line of CBD products. Image: AFP/Angela Weiss

Following approvals for medical marijuana, and the decriminalization and legalization of the drug in many American states, the sale of cannabis-based supplements is a fast growing business in the United States.

There are now as many as 3,000 brands offering products that contain CBD, and this figure is expected to increase in the years to come.

Celebrities in the country are contributing to the development of the sector with collaborations along the lines of those that have long been seen in the worlds of fashion and cosmetics, and many more may be waiting in the wings with future launches.

CBD as an aid to well-being

This week famous TV personality and businesswoman Martha Stewart brought out a new line of supplements containing CBD (cannabidiol), a non-intoxicating cannabis derivative, which is marketed as an antidote to stress and certain types of pain.

The founder of “Martha Stewart Living” developed the “wellness” products in close collaboration with Canadian company Canopy Growth, the world’s largest publicly quoted cannabis producer.

Martha Stewart notably contributed to the “gourmet flavors” chosen for the CBD gummies, soft gels and oil drops, drawing inspiration from pâte de fruits, a French style of candy.

As you might expect for a high-end line of supplements, the products “are made with the purest, safest CBD, derived from 100-percent U.S. hemp.” As it stands, they are only for humans but Stewart has promised additional treats for pets in the near future.

The lifestyle queen is not the only celebrity to have joined forces with Canopy Growth. In 2019, Seth Rogen teamed up with the company to launch the Houseplant brand of recreational Canadian cannabis.

For her part, Whoopi Goldberg took the plunge on the medical cannabis market. In 2016,

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Neymar seals Puma sponsorship deal

(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 24, 2020 Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar leaves the team’s hotel in Lisbon, a day after being defeated by Bayern Munich during the UEFA Champions League final football match. – Nike said on August 29, 2020 that it had parted ways with Neymar, ending one of its most high-profile sponsorship deals a decade and a half after signing the star striker as a 13-year-old prodigy. (Photo by CARLOS COSTA / AFP)

Neymar has sealed an endorsement deal with Puma, the German company announced on Saturday, two weeks after the Brazilian superstar left his long-time sponsor Nike.

“Welcome to the fam @neymarjr #KingIsBack” Puma tweeted alongside a photo of the Paris Saint-Germain striker, kitted out in the sportswear giant’s clothes.

The world’s most expensive player confirmed his new role as Puma’s poster boy in an open letter posted on social media.

“I grew up watching videos of great football legends such as Pele, Cruyff, Eusebio and Maradona….who each played in Puma.

“For these reasons, from today onward, I have the honour to unite with the brand that helped the biggest legends of football become what they are,” he wrote.

Neither Neymar nor Puma gave details of the length of the contract or how much it was worth.

Speculation has been flying that the 28-year-old would sign with Puma since his endorsement deal ended with Nike, the company that had sponsored him since he was a 13-year-old prodigy.

Puma statue

News that a deal had been struck was first published by Brazilian sports site Esporte Interativo, which is known for breaking the story of Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to PSG in 2017.

Citing “exclusive information,” it said details on the agreement and Neymar’s first promotional appearances for Puma were expected “in the coming days.”

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No reason to doubt Raptors’ Siakam will learn from disappointing playoffs

TORONTO – Pascal Siakam’s NBA story is one mostly made up of improbable triumph in the face of adversity.

By now, you likely know it very well.

Born in Douala, Cameroon and the youngest of four brothers who all wanted to fulfill their late father’s dream of playing the NBA, Siakam didn’t start playing organized basketball until he was 16 years old and there began his implausible path towards NBA stardom.

First starting in high school where he played at the prep school God’s Academy in Lewisville, Texas, where he earned a scholarship with New Mexico State University, despite being a relatively unknown. Then getting selected 27th overall by the Toronto Raptors in the 2016 NBA Draft where all he did was get better season after season culminating in a Most Improved Player award in 2019. Which then led to this season where he was named an all-star for the first time in his career (as a starter no less) and was looking to be worth every bit of the four-year, $130-million extension he signed before the season started, slated to kick in for the 2020-21 season.

This kind of meteoric ascent is pretty much unprecedented for an unheralded player like Siakam was and for a time it felt like he could only go up in his progression over time.

But here’s the funny thing about progression; it doesn’t always conveniently work out to be just a nice upwards ascent. There’s bound to be dips here and there.

And so, like any good story, if Siakam is the Raptors’ main protagonist as his big contract suggests he is, he had to eventually fail in order to rise up once again.

“It was tough and I think we hung in there trying to find ways and, at the end of

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