Skift Take

We predicted CBD oil would be a thriving business in 2019 –– but it will soon likely be a skyrocketing one, thanks to the passage of the new Farm Bill. This means consumers may find a whole lot of anxiety relief, and hemp farmers and product manufacturers will likely see big profits.

The Skift Wellness newsletter is our  weekly dispatch focused on what’s happening in wellness from a global business standpoint. Skift Wellness lives where wellness meets commerce, mindfulness meets technology, the yoga studio meets the boardroom, and health meets business.

The CBD industry has a lot to celebrate this holiday season. The new Farm Bill, recently passed by Congress, will make it easier for farmers to grow hemp –– the plant CBD, or cannabidiol, is derived from. The bill will bring important perks, like access to banking, federal grants, and crop insurance.

The bill also takes hemp off the federal controlled substances list, removing some of the headaches for product manufacturers and farmers who grow the non-hallucinogenic plant to extract the therapeutic CBD oil, among other things.

Over the course of 2018, CBD has gone from being a boutique product that was barely talked about outside of alternative wellness circles to a buzzy industry everyone wants in on –– including Coca-Cola and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who still remains staunchly opposed to marijuana legalization).

What does this mean for the CBD business? Well, we already predicted CBD to take off in 2019. But now, “taking off” seems like an understatement. As Erica McBride, executive director of the National Hemp Association, told NBC News, “This bill will make hemp explode.”

While it currently seems like a niche industry, CBD will likely become a mainstay in the United States. The market is expected to reach $22 billion by 2022, according to the Brightfield Group, a cannabis and CBD market research company.

Right now, the big question is: What will CBD oil be used for next? (And will you be buying these CBD stocking stuffers?)

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @lesliebarrie.

— Leslie Barrie, Wellness Editor


CBD Oil Will See a Big Boom Thanks to the Recently Passed Farm Bill: Good news for those who’ve found it hard to get their hands on products that include this current darling of the wellness industry. Congress recently passed the Farm Bill, which will make it easier for farmers to grow hemp, the plant used to make CBD oil (which doesn’t have the same hallucination effects as its cannabis cousin, marijuana). This can only mean good things for the CBD business. Market predictions for 2019 may now be even higher.


High-End Health Club Life Time Expands to Co-Working Spaces: In an attempt to incorporate wellness into every aspect of its customers’ lives, the luxury gym and spa chain is opening a number of new “Life Time Work” co-working spaces in 2019 (the first location rolled out earlier this year in Pennsylvania). It’s also looking to create wellness-oriented residential communities and clubs within shopping centers. Based on the success of WeWork, it’s a fitting next step for the fitness and health brand.


CrossFit Founder Courts Dissatisfied Doctors: When Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, realized that at least 20,000 doctors take CrossFit classes, and that many of them are frustrated by the current healthcare system due to its lack of focus on preventative wellness, he decided to launch networking weekends for doctors called CrossFit Health. The goal: That doctors may one day prescribe CrossFit to their patients, or maybe even open locations of their own. Considering Glassman’s desire to disrupt the healthcare space, it’s a smart move.

Mind & Body

Brands Work to Change the Wellness Accessibility Narrative: The wellness industry is often criticized for creating an air of exclusivity, and rightly so. It often seems like one can only achieve peak well-being by attending the right boutique fitness classes, eating the best vegan and organic foods, and using the most luxurious clean beauty products. But certain companies, like yoga studio and wellness center HealHaus and organic catering brand Harvest & Revel, are trying to bring a much-needed message of inclusivity and diversity to the movement.

Headspace and Calm Fight for Top Meditation App Spot: In what’s got to be the most zen business battle out there, the two top meditation apps, Calm and Headspace, are vying for the number one spot in the $1.2 billion meditation market. Headspace has 230 employees compared to Calm’s 40 and has dominated the meditation app space since 2010. But Calm received the 2017 iPhone App of the Year award and has since seen a higher user growth rate. With the meditation market expected to continue to surge in 2019, we’ll have to wait and see which brand comes out ahead.

Food & Drink

How One Healthy Treat Company Went from Stagnation to Surging Growth: A case study in smart marketing and packaging: Hail Merry, a line of better-for-you treats, launched in 2008 and earned about $1 million in profit its first year –– but soon saw its numbers stagnate. That all changed a few years ago, when the plant-based and raw-ingredient brand’s sales skyrocketed. Its revenues are expected to reach between $14 and $16 million this year. The secret? A rebrand geared toward millennials, complete with a new logo (shaped like a heart tattoo) and a healthier take on the Reese’s peanut butter cup.


Hyatt’s New Wellness Exec Talks Its Unique Approach to Well-Being: Hyatt has certainly taken a stance –– that it’s going all in on wellness –– after the acquisition of Exhale and Miraval. Considering the rise of wellness, it’s a wise (and unique) strategy, that focuses on the wholistic well-being of both guests and employees. “It’s not just about branded services and products and spas, but about caring about people at a higher, macro level,” said Mia Kyricos, senior vice president, global head of wellbeing. In the coming months, we’ll likely see more hotel companies follow suit.

Skift Wellness Editor Leslie Barrie [[email protected]] curates the Skift Wellness newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.


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Tags: hyatt, Skift Wellness, wellness

Photo credit: A hemp plant is shown. The recently passed Farm Bill will make it easier for farmers to grow hemp, the plant CBD is derived from. @herbalhemp / Pixabay

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