Attendees at the 91st Academy Awards this weekend are getting treated to goodie bags worth six figures, filled to the brim with lavish holidays, elite club memberships – and CBD?
This year’s Oscar goodie bags include an annual VIP membership to MOTA, the first cannabis-friendly social club in LA, as well as Code Signature premium cannabis edibles, concentrates and topicals. On the beauty side, gifts also include High Beauty products like the High Five Cannabis Facial Moisturiser (which retails for $40) and the High Expectations Cannabis Facial Oil ($54).
If there was still any lingering doubt that cannabis and CBD products could take the world by storm (with a middle finger up to federal legislation), there won’t be for long.
The popularity of CBD products in this years goodie bags sends a clear signal that the cannabis and CBD industry is a hot up-and-coming market with plenty of potential for celebrity endorsements. CBD has arrived.
The swag bags for the 2019 Oscars are valued at $100,000, which if you can believe it is a step down in value in comparison to recent years. In 2016 the value of goodie bags reached new heights, clocking in at a whopping $230,000, but have since been reduced to the more “modest” level of 100k in the last three years. The goodie bags regularly include gifts such as all-inclusive holidays, diamond jewellery, and have even included a Vampire Breast Lift – which involves extracting the growth hormones from someone’s blood and injecting it back into their cleavage for a “rounder” appearance.
In case you were wondering how the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences can afford all these lavish gifts and offers included in the goodie bags – they don’t.
The “Everyone Wins” goodie bags are sent exclusively to all the nominees in the acting and directing categories in the week before the ceremony, but they’re not sent by the Academy. They are sent by Distinctive Assets, a marketing company that has been compiling the goodie bags together for the past 17 years.
So how does it work? Well, for companies to have their products considered for the goodie bags, they have to pay a promotional fee of roughly $4,000 and then donate the items to be included in the goodie bags.
So what are they getting out of it? While it might seem like a hefty price to pay, the chance to have a high-profile celebrity (and their social media followers) to your product could bring in substantial revenue. In conversation with Forbes in 2016, the founder of Distinctive Assets Lash Fary stated “We are not gifting Oscar nominees out of a sense of philanthropy […] We are gifting them for the same reason that they are paid upwards of $20 million for a single film…because their personal brand has value as a commodity”.
Considering the best acting and directing categories tend to be the more high-profile awards that pull in viewers and dedicated fans, it’s no wonder why Distinctive Assets are choosy with their coveted gifts.
It’s also worth mentioning that the companies who do donate gifts (like luxury hotels and spas) are likely frequented by enough rich but not-so-famous clientele for them to afford the pricey fees involved. Considering the rapid growth in popularity of CBD and cannabis-infused products, it’s not surprising that the companies behind these products can afford to make it into the highly covetable swag bags.
The 91st Academy Awards will take place this weekend on February 24th, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. With nominees like Lady Gaga up for best actress (who has previously talked about her love of the green), keep an eye out on social media for a sneak peak at those dank swag bags!