Hemp CBD is breaking into the big leagues. On October 12, Major League Base Ball (MLB) and Charlotte’s Web Holdings — one of the most well-known brands across the cannabis spectrum named after patient Charlotte Figgy, who used the plant to fight seizures — signed a contract officially making the company baseball’s first cannabis sponsor, MJBizDaily reports.
The MLB is one of the world’s biggest sports leagues, making this partnership a game-changer for cannabis and professional sports, at least in the US. It’s one of the few times we’ve seen mainstream pro-sports bridge the gap with cannabis, specifically hemp. This sponsorship is undoubtedly a milestone in both industries, the Sports Business Journal reports.
The baseball league started repealing its heavyhanded prohibition mentality last June. That’s when the MLB announced it would allow teams to accept CBD sponsorships.
The Sports Business Journal said the terms of the agreement are “nontraditional with a rights fee plus a revenue share.” They also reported that the MLB is receiving stock in Charlotte’s Web.
The NFL, NHL, and NBA still do not allow hemp CBD brands to partner with CBD companies. Despite legalization around the country, most pro-sports leagues maintain staunch anti-cannabis policies for their players and business partnerships. Although, smaller sports organizations and athletes have teamed up with CBD brands, one of the most notable is Megan Rapinoe from the US Women’s soccer team.
Soccer and UFC have been the most cannabis-friendly professional sports leagues. Charlotte’s Web was previously a sponsor for Angel City FC of the National Women’s Soccer League . In 2020 the hemp oil brand Synchronicity became the official sponsor of the United Soccer League. The UFC, a mixed martial arts circuit, also signed a sponsorship agreement with Love Hemp last year.
Charlotte’s Web is making moves to bridge gaps with many industries that traditionally prohibit cannabis relations. In late September, the company signed a distribution agreement with major liquor distributor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.