“Investments or commercial arrangements are still considered to be prohibited in accordance with current practices.”
Major League Baseball (MLB) may be fine with its players using weed away from the field, but that receptiveness does not currently extend to allowing them to turn the plant into a source of income.
The MLB is currently mulling the issue and whether or not that could change in future.
The league sent its teams a memo this week, reminding players and personnel that while it won’t be testing for cannabis, players who arrive to work visibly intoxicated will face repercussions.
“While natural cannabinoids will no longer be considered Prohibited Substances under MLB’s Drug Programs,” the memo noted, “there are still restrictions on, and risks associated with, the use, possession and distribution of marijuana and other natural cannabinoids.”
The league appears to be weighing those risks as it decides if it wants to let active players become spokespeople or investors in the legions of companies that would love to have a professional baseball player representing their brands.
While retired NHL and NBA players, such as Mike Cammalleri and Al Harrington, have founded or co-founded CBD companies — and regularly push the benefits of cannabis — professional leagues have been wary of letting active players do the same. Professional athletes have, by and large, stayed silent on the issue likely out of fear of rocking the financial boat as legalization efforts play out.
CBD remains a tricky substance for baseball players because the non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in marijuana has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or certified by NSF International, the organization MLB is now working with to ensure products are safe and do not contain any substances that are on MLB’s banned list.
The league and its players association reported they “are working closely with NSF International to develop an independent testing and certification process for” hemp-based products.
While MLB said new guidelines for players and personnel interested in participating in the billion-dollar cannabis industry are on the way, “until such guidance is issued, any such investments or commercial arrangements are still considered to be prohibited in accordance with current practices.”
They’ll have to get by on their major-league salaries for the time being.
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Written by David Yasvinski