CBD has made another move into the marketing mainstream, thanks to Major League Baseball. The league today announced that Charlotte's Web, which makes hemp-based CBD, has struck an exclusive, multi-year sponsorship that makes it the “Official CBD of Major League Baseball.”
CBD, which stands for cannabidiol, does not produce a high by itself and it has been federally legal since the federal Drug Enforcement Agency in 2019 declared that cannabidiol at or below the 0.3% THC threshold is not considered a controlled substance. But the CBD industry’s gains in sports marketing have been slow.
MLB says it is the first major professional sports league to form a sponsorship agreement with a CBD company. Leagues outside of the big four of baseball, basketball, football and hockey have opened their doors to CBD in recent years. In 2019, Craft 1861 became the first CBD company to sponsor a team on the track in the Indianapolis 500. Last year, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) struck a five-year sponsorship with U.K.-based CBD brand Love Hemp.
MLB first cleared the way for CBD deals in June. The league today stated that Charlotte's Web underwent a “rigorous approval process” that involved “strict independent testing to uniquely meet MLB’s scientific benchmarks and no-banned substances policy.”