The first professional baseball team officially inked a deal with a CBD company this week.
On April 7, The Chicago Cubs announced a partnership with MYND Drinks, makers of wellness and recovery beverages, which allows the hemp-based product to be the “Official CBD Partner” of the Cubs and the first CBD partner of any Major League Baseball (MLB) club. It marks a historic milestone when professional sports are beginning to embrace hemp and marijuana.
“When MLB opened the CBD category for its clubs, it allowed us to explore new partnership opportunities and offerings,” said Chicago Cubs Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, Alex Seyferth. “We’re proud to be the first club to partner with a CBD company, but what was more important to us was making sure that the brand was the right fit. MYND DRINKS is a Chicago-based company that promotes overall wellness and helps ease the stressors of everyday life, just like a Friday 1:20 game at Wrigley Field.”
The partnership opens doors in the world of sports where unapproved drugs and supplements are typically strictly forbidden.
The partnership will include various in-ballpark signage elements including on-field baseline signage at Wrigley Field and “several in-game features” International marketing rights are also expected in the United Kingdom for the 2023 regular season, a first for the club. MYND Drinks won a 2022 World CBD Awards winner for “Best Cold Beverage.”
To kick off the partnership, the Cubs will be releasing a guided meditation on YouTube narrated by Cubs radio play-by-play announcer Pat Hughes as well as a “Sounds of Wrigley Field” Spotify playlist today.
“We are so thrilled and honored to announce our partnership with the legendary Chicago Cubs, and that they share our vision of health and wellness in major league sports,” said Simon Allen, CEO of MYND Drinks.
CBD is Regulated Differently Than Marijuana
Professional baseball is slowly embracing CBD. The 2018 Farm Bill opened the door to CBD sales because it finally allowed the government to differentiate between hemp, which has no psychoactive properties in its natural form, and marijuana. This makes it possible for major sports leagues to open the door to CBD endorsements.
In June 2022, MLB CRO Noah Garden said there are two things required if you want to do a deal in the CBD category: An NSF Certified for Sport® designation—which requires a relatively long process—and an approval from the Commissioner’s office.
In this case, Mynd Drinks’s Elderberry Passionfruit, Orange Mango and Lemon Ginger flavors met “the highest safety standards” and received the NSF Certified for Sport® designation.
MLB Removes Cannabis From Banned List
MLB announced in 2019 that it will remove cannabis from its list of abused drugs, but added they will continue testing for opioids and cocaine.
Tony Clark, the executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said that the league’s players “are overwhelmingly in favor of expanding our drug-testing regimen to include opioids and want to take a leadership role in helping to resolve this national epidemic.”
The change was prompted by an opioid-related death of Los Angeles Angels’ Tyler Skaggs that rocked the MLB community. It was announced five months after Skaggs was found dead in a hotel room in Dallas, Texas. Skaggs, who was only 27, died after choking on his own vomit, and was found by an examiner to have alcohol and two opioid-based painkillers, fentanyl and oxycodone, in his system.
MYND Drinks are currently available on the website and at select Chicagoland retailers.