A strange new landmark in the mainstreaming of medical cannabis is upon us as the first major sports team (to our knowledge) has accepted sponsorship from a cannabis company.

After reaching a five-figure agreement, the stadium of the football club Hamilton Academical will now bear the name HopeCBD Stadium, as reported by RT. The new moniker is the namesake of the company HopeCBD. To straighten out a couple of terms here, though Hamilton Academical sounds like a school and “club” may sound like a hobby to Americans, Hamilton Academical is in fact a professional team which competes in the Scottish Premiership, the top league of Scottish football (as in soccer).

Football being a pretty big deal in Scotland, and the Accies (as they’re known) being a team that was founded more than 140 years ago, this is a very big deal. Trying to think of an analogy in U.S. sports is difficult (the Green Bay Packers are the oldest NFL team, and they’re not even a hundred–but the Red Sox have been around in some form since 1869). So this would be like if all the sudden Fenway Park was renamed AbsoluteXtracts Park.

In defense of what may be a controversial move, the club posted a statement to their website which is oddly specific in the technological aspect of cannabis extraction, defensive, and aloof:

The very word ‘cannabis’ strikes the concerns of law breaking and addiction issues, but the facts surrounding CBD are much different. The hemp plant goes through what is known as ‘full spectrum C02 extraction’ and is then further distilled to remove psychoactive elements that are found within the plant – THC. It is the removal of this compound, leaving many other cannabinoids, particularly CBD that makes the products 100% non-psychoactive or addictive, meaning consuming it results in no mind altering effects – like alcohol free lager as such.

It is well known that Hamilton Academical Football Club are great ambassadors in supporting people and families in recovery from many addictions and are active in reaching out to the community to help those in recovery. The sponsorship with HopeCBD is very much within the ethos of Hamilton Academical Football Club and we are proud to be at the forefront of positive and progressive partnership with CBD providers such as Hope CBD.

CBD is sold as a food supplement and no medical claims can be made. So why all the fuss? Could it be that pharmaceutical companies could be fearful that the rumours are true?

CBD is likely about to become an even bigger business in the UK after the British government announced last week that it will soon legalize some forms of cannabis-derived medicine, which will likely include CBD oil.

Photo via Flickr user Ally Middleton