In a move that will shake up the entire pro sports landscape, Major League Baseball became the first out of the 4 major North American sports (baseball, basketball, football, hockey), to allow CBD sponsorships.
The announcement, which happened in June, shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone because America’s pastime has been experiencing a steady decline in viewership for years — it just isn’t a sexy sport and there’s a lot of waiting around for action to happen if you’re not a diehard fan. CBD will hopefully bring in new energy and a positive mindset to attract a younger generation of fans.
Aside from UFC, no other major sports league has allowed CBD thus far. It’s not surprising because of people’s misconceptions on the product and its close relationship to marijuana. But with more understanding of how it works, a looser overall attitude towards cannabis around the country, a need to generate revenue in a guaranteed recession and inflation economy, and an inlet to a younger and cooler audience, it’s worth the gamble for MLB.
In 2019, MLB removed marijuana from its banned substances list. However, MLB has not approved cannabis sponsorships. CBD sponsorships may open the floodgates to the weed sponsorships, only time will tell.
In order for a CBD sponsor to be approved, they would need to go through the commissioner’s office.
It’s important to note that while this is a great move for generating sponsorship dollars, it’s also not a great optic play on the part of MLB.
Major League Baseball has long had a history with drugs and substance abuse. If you’re from an older generation, you’ll probably remember the wild days of cocaine use in the ‘80s and how guys like Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry destroyed what could’ve been even more amazing careers by snorting the white stuff.
Say you’re in your mid-30s like me. You’ll most likely remember the glory days of baseball in the late ’90s and early ’00s when “Big Mac” Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were hitting homers every other night for the single season home run record; all for it to be blown up years later by not only Barry Bonds, but the steroid scandals and lawsuits that followed.
And if we want to take it back to more recent times, we can talk about the ban and removal of smokeless chewing tobacco from MLB clubhouses and dugouts in 2016. You remember that nasty brown stuff player’s used to spit onto the field all the time? Yea, that stuff.
While CBD isn’t even in the same category of bodily detriment like tobacco, steroids, and cocaine, it’s surprising that the league would allow sponsorships for it considering their stance on chewing tobacco and their ban on something that has been in the league basically since it’s modern day creation.
We have to wait and see in order to find out public opinion on the matter and if indeed revenue is increased, but at least for now, no one is arguing that CBD will give you an unfair performance advantage in the game if you use it.
Here’s a guide on how long CBD will stay in your system for.