Cannabis reform is spreading to all parts of the globe, and that includes professional sports. For many decades professional sports leagues have prohibited cannabis in all forms, including in advertising.
Cannabis prohibition is a harmful policy wherever it exists, and that obviously includes professional sports. Athletes should be measured by their athletic abilities and moral character – not by the level of THC metabolites that they have in their bodily fluids.
The NHL was a pioneer when it comes to cannabis policy, in that it has not included cannabis on its list of banned substances for many years. Other leagues are warming up to the idea. One front of cannabis reform in sports that has been problematic is cannabis-based advertising.
Sports leagues, and teams within those leagues, bring in a lot of revenue from advertising and sponsorships. Numerous cannabis companies would love to support professional sports teams in that manner, however, such advertising is prohibited in most leagues.
Major League Soccer might be changing their policy soon, and allowing CBD advertising. Per Sports Business Daily:
It is “likely” that the MLS Board of Governors will approve CBD as a new commercial opportunity for teams by the end of 2020, multiple sources tell SBJ’s Mark J. Burns & Terry Lefton.
Commissioner Don Garber last month said that the league would suffer a $1 billion loss in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sources said that allowing even more commercial opportunities, like with CBD, would help teams and the league recoup some of that money, albeit only a small fraction.
Cannabis advertising revenue will not fix every economic issue that Major League Soccer is experiencing, just as it doesn’t fix every single budget issue when it comes to cannabis tax revenue and governments.
However, that new revenue source can help to some extent, and given the fact that CBD is legal nationwide in the U.S. and in a growing number of countries, and CBD is non-toxic and does not induce intoxication, allowing CBD advertising in the MLS, or in any professional sports league, is an obvious no-brainer.