The NFLPA released a statement regarding many inquiries from NFL players’ ability to engage in promotion and endorsement of CBD companies. At the beginning of the 2020 season, the NFL released the new rules promulgated by the league governing players and endorsements.
The statement reads “Subject to the limited exception in the NFL Alcohol Sponsorship Policy for use of player imagery in advertisements for beer, NFL players, coaches, and other employees must not endorse or appear in advertisements for alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or cannabinoid products”.
As a result of this language, player endorsements of cannabinoid products are not advised by the NFL Players Association.
The Regina Leader-Post reported, NFL players and owners came to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in March, which included changes to the leagues cannabis policy. Testing for cannabis is now limited to the first two weeks of training camp in July and the positive result for cannabis in an athlete’s system was raised from 35 nanograms of THC/millilitre to 150 ng/mL.
This ruling can prove problematic for NFL players who are looking to use CBD for injury recovery purposes or for off the field investment opportunities. Recently, Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield signed an endorsement and investment deal with Massachusetts based CBD company, Beam. A source told Front Office Sports it wasn’t a coincidence that the NFLPA letter was sent out two days after Mayfield signed his deal. It is unclear if he will continue to be a part of the CBD company.