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July 2019

CBD Getting Big Name Support

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By Steve Kauffman

Innovation comes in different forms, shapes and sizes.

 At the PGA Merchandise Show, innovative golf products are usually found each year in the equipment or balls section. Then, of course, there are always the various technology solutions touting themselves as the next great tool to help drive more course efficiency and business.
 This year, however, there was a conspicuous new product category: cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD.

There was Canadian company Iso-Sport, showcasing its Mend CBD Pain Relief Crème across from Club Car. Another new exhibitor was Shop CBD Now, which featured a variety of “natural hemp” products, including Pure Scientifics branded mint tincture/CBD oils.

And these were just a couple of CBD products spotted for the first time. To say these hemp-inspired exhibitors seemed out of place in golf business is an understatement considering most people probably associate hemp with that other derivative of the cannabis plant: THC or “pot.”

Yet, if CBD companies have their way, these innovative health products might very well be the next must-have gimmick in every golf shop. To be sure, cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and not considered a controlled substance at the federal level.

The production and use of CBD took off once President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill and legalized hemp – defined as cannabis with less than 0.3 percent THC. Since then, CBD practitioners are popping up everywhere like weeds.

Perhaps Colorado-based Functional Remedies began the golf-related CBD “buzz” when it announced a partnership back in January with 10-time PGA Tour Champions winner Scott McCarron. By mid-May, McCarron won his second tour championship in three weeks, and more than 90 players on the PGA Tour and PGA Champions Tour were using the same EndoSport hemp oil as part of their daily routines, according to Functional Remedies.

McCarron said the oil “helps my mind stay focused and my body recover, so I can always play my best.”

Now, PGA Tour star and two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson is the latest golfer to embrace cannabidiol after joining forces with cbdMD Inc. as a new brand ambassador and user. As part of the three-year partnership announced May 1 by the publicly traded company (NYSE YCBD), Watson was wearing the company’s logo on his signature cap during the recent PGA Championship.

“Honestly, it’s a thrill,” says Martin Sumichrast, chairman and CEO for cbdMD. “Bubba is a legend and when he says that cbdMD products help him to feel his best, well, it makes us very proud to be his partner. He also talks about CBD extending his longevity in sports. That’s something that will resonate with all athletes and all sports leagues.”

Sumichrast says demand for high-quality CBD is growing exponentially, citing a study by the Brightfield Group that projects the CBD market will grow to $22 billion by 2022, from only $600 million last year.

“Our customers want to feel better but can’t afford to risk failing a drug test,” Sumichrast points out. “Unlike most brands on the market today, cbdMD has no THC … we eliminate the risk of failing a drug test due to THC.”

Watson, who just turned 40, is a true believer, saying, “I’ve personally felt the benefits of cbdMD’s products.”

Scott Kauffman is the regular technology columnist for Golf Business. You can contact him with tech news at iwritegolf@gmail.com.

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