A lot of things in MLB are changing, bigger bases, second runners in extra innings and now new sponsorships. In the ever-changing world of marijuana decriminalization, more and more athletes and fans are using non-binding THC supplements. MLB is the first of the sports organizations in the “League” to use it in a sponsorship role, starting with advertising during the World Series.
Charlotte’s Web manufactures CBD products such as gummies and topical sprays. CBD is short for cannabidiol, a compound found in the cannabis plant and touted as a natural remedy for reducing inflammation and stress. MLB will have its logo on a “sport” version of CBD that would show that athletes use it too.
CBD products are easy to acquire in a fully legal state; one could skip the dispensary in favor of a pharmacy and find products like Charlotte’s Web lining a wall behind the cashiers. While their effects can vary by product (ointment, tincture, and even lip balm), they generally provide a soothing, relaxing feeling that can work perfectly with the post-game de-stress that athletes (or exercisers) have. other stressful professions) undergo. Each person will react differently, however, the result is pain relief or the ability to relax or sleep.
MLB came up with the idea for Charlotte’s Web as a sponsor but needed a bit more insurance before signing on the dotted line. Aside from Nascar, MLB will be Major League Sports’ first to join CBD businesses for referrals to sign a league-wide deal. Noah Garden, chief revenue officer, an MLB representative, said in an article with Marijuana Time“We’ve been watching this category for a while and waiting for it to mature to the point where we can feel comfortable with it. Our fans are the customers they’re looking for, and we like to be first. That’s a good opportunity for us and the clubs.”
Baseball is constantly looking for ways to improve the game so that young fans are more likely to stay interested. From changing the pace of play with throwing clocks to adding CBD as a sponsor.
This is part of several shifts in attitude towards CBD products. On June 22, 2022, MLB announced teams could solicit and acquire CBD sponsorships, although players cannot be individually sponsored or hold a stake in such companies. In 2019, MLB decided to implement a change that will take place in 2020: MLB would not punish players for using it in their spare time or testing positive, complete reversal of their previous banned substance, where marijuana would result in a $35,000 fine. .
There are limits to getting a sponsorship, with rules and guidelines to follow. For example, a team could only sell a CBD sponsorship if a potential company’s products were certified by NSF International, a consumer safety and product testing organization used by sports leagues. The club would also need clearance from the MLB commissioner’s office. CBD must not contain THC, which means that marijuana products containing THC will always be under the control of MLB.
This new relationship is not a pass for players to engage in activities outside of Major League Drug Policy rules. The rule created in 2020 always stands and declares; players may be “subject to disciplinary action” by their team or MLB “for engaging in certain cannabinoid-related behaviors, including violations of federal, state, or local laws,” such as distributing marijuana or driving under the influence.
Cannabis is a big and profitable industry, and with its growing popularity, its profits are also increasing. In 2021 alone, the cannabis industry surpassed $4.7 billion last year, and now MLB will start to see a reduction in those profits. Charlotte’s Web started small with the MLB logo on the side of its “Sport CBD” bottle and is officially known as “MLB’s CBD”.
There has been no official statement from the Minnesota Twins, nor any statement on how this will affect minor league teams. Each state has rules and regulations based on their state’s marijuana laws.
Sports sponsors have moved away from things like cigarettes and alcohol because of the harm they can cause when consumed in excess. Do you think CBD as a sponsor is smart for the industry and something that will help young fans get involved in the game?
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