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Major League Baseball signs Charlotte's Web as first CBD sponsor

Tim Baysinger
Oct 12, 2022
Illustration of a silhouette of someone smoking weed

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Major League Baseball has signed a sponsorship deal with cannabis brand Charlotte's Web, becoming the first major U.S. league to sign a CBD sponsor.

Why it matters: As with gambling, the increasing legalization of marijuana use opens another once-taboo category for sports. Expect other leagues to quickly follow suit.

Details: Charlotte's Web's deal makes it the "Official CBD of MLB" and covers this year's playoffs and the next three years.

  • The company will launch an MLB-branded line of CBD products and will have signage during the playoffs and World Series games.
  • Sports Business Journal first reported the deal and describes the agreement as "non-traditional," with a rights fee and revenue sharing. MLB also gets shares in Charlotte's Web Holdings, which trades on the Toronto Exchange.
  • This is Charlotte's Web's second major sponsorship deal. In June, it signed as the official CBD sponsor for NWSL club Angel City FC.
  • "We are excited about the possibilities this partnership offers as CBD becomes a more widely adopted part of the health and wellness regimen of our players and fans," MLB chief revenue officer Noah Garden said in a statement.

Catch up quick: MLB announced in June it would allow teams to start selling CBD sponsorships.

  • The companies have to be certified by the testing organization NSF that their products do not have psychoactive levels of THC.
  • The UFC signed its first CBD deal in 2019 with Aurora, and last year signed a five-year deal with Love Hemp. Earlier this year, NASCAR's Richard Childress made 3Chi the racing league's first CBD car sponsor.
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