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Written by Ponce Sunset
Joe Montana, one of the NFL’s greatest players of all time with four Super Bowl wins among his many accomplishments, earlier this year announced that he was part of a $75 million investment in a California marijuana company called Caliva. For Montana, his investment in Caliva was his second in a cannabis business. In 2017, Montana made his first investment in a cannabis business, a media property called Herb as part of a $4.1 million investment.
Tiki Barber, formerly of the New York football Giants who then parlayed into a career as a sports broadcaster, also announced that he was getting into the cannabis business with an investment announced earlier this year in Grove Group Management.
So what attracted Barber to cannabis? He said in an interview with CNN Business that increasing evidence of how medical marijuana can help people coping with severe pain will help reduce the stigma around it. He knows that firsthand from his playing days in the NFL. The league is coping with a growing number of current and retired players dealing with traumatic head injuries.
"The more quickly we can get cannabis legalized federally, the better off athletes will be," he said, adding that he thinks it's a "matter of inevitability" before that happens.- Tiki Barber, former NFL Player
Other athletes who are investing in the weed industry include former professional road racing cyclist Floyd Landis and former Portland Trail Blazer Cliff Robinson.
And most recently, the Las Vegas Lights of the United Soccer League, the only professional sports team in the United States to take on a cannabis sponsorship, announced that they are going to take on their second sponsorship deal with Two Roots Brewing Company. Based in San Diego, Two Roots is known for brewing a nonalcoholic cannabis beer infused with micro-doses of THC. Last year, the Lights announced a sponsorship deal with NuWu Cannabis Marketplace to promote NuWu at their home stadium, Cashman Field.
As Kevin Love, Vice President of market activations for Cannabiniers, (the brand management company for Two Roots), put it:
“It's knocking down a stigma and creating normalcy and synergy between the craft beer market and the THC market,” he said. Two Roots will be rotating five beers at Cashman field: a lager, a wheat, a blonde ale, an Indian Pale Ale (IPA), and a stout.- Kevin Love
As cannabis becomes more mainstream and the benefits of cannabis continue to gain greater acceptance, it will only be a matter of time before we see more sports teams taking on sponsorship deals with cannabis companies, and athletes continue to jump into investing in these cannabis companies.