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March 2020

CBD Report - Guilt by association?

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CBD fighting bad rap from misinformation

By Scott Kauffman

Like many movies these days, sequels are all the rave. And one of the latest storylines sweeping the nation can be called CBD Madness. Of course, this is a reference to the not-so-classic movie from 1936, Reefer Madness.

To be sure, 83 years after the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 made the hemp/marijuana plant illegal in America, it is no longer madness to view marijuana as part of the mainstream. How else can one explain in January 2020 Illinois becoming the 11th state to make recreational marijuana legal for adults over the age of 21? And the fact that 33 states already allow marijuana for medical purposes?

Meanwhile, buzz over hemp remains just as hot for another product of the cannabis plant: CBD. To be clear, while CBD or cannabidiol comes from the same plant as marijuana, CBD is not legally defined as marijuana per the federal government so long as it contains .03 milligrams or less of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the psychoactive compound often associated with hemp or marijuana.

This year’s 67th PGA Merchandise Show was illustrative of how popular CBD is getting among professional and amateur golfers, with more than a dozen exhibitors selling and showcasing some form of the compound in various forms of tinctures, creams and gums – tripling the number of CBD-related exhibitors found in 2019.

Among the companies this year were names like Double Eagle Hemp, Medterra Golf, PureSwing CBD and ParForm. To see this fast-growing product pop up in golf makes perfect sense seeing that golfers are always open to that hot new piece of equipment or product that can seemingly give them a mental or physical edge.

Numerous professional golfers are openly using CBD-related products and touting their benefits, including two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and four-time PGA Tour winner Charley Hoffman, who endorse cbdMD and Medterra, respectively. This is only fueling the curiosity and demand. This type of high-profile validation is one reason Medterra CEO Jay Hartenbach is so bullish on the golf industry.

“(Golfers are) a perfect alignment,” says Hartenbach, whose company’s products can be found in 300-plus golf facilities, not to mention PGA Tour Superstore and Worldwide Golf Shops. “There’s zero THC in our products, which is a huge thing. That’s getting professional golfers on board and comfortable using the product (for Tour compliance purposes).”

“It’s also helped being able to partner with national golf retailers because they’re comfortable knowing our products contain no THC. It’s almost one of the things that gets us in the door. What keeps people around is actually using the product and seeing the benefits.”

For decades, many people have
incorrectly associated hemp with the psychoactive derivative of the cannabis plant and commonly categorized all of hemp as simply marijuana or “pot.” So, hemp had that stigma and connection to a drug that became illegal on a federal level once Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the tax act in August 1937.

However, CBD is merely one of numerous compounds that can be extracted from the centuries-old hemp plant and does not get you high. In fact, hemp used to be legal to grow in America throughout the 18th and 19th centuries and was commonly used for products such as paper, lamp fuels and ropes.

But hemp became hip after Pres. Donald J. Trump signed the bipartisan Farm Bill in December 2018, which legalized the production and use of hemp once again.

Consequently, cannabis producers and practitioners are popping up everywhere like weeds – touting the anti-inflammatory and calming nature of CBD to name a couple benefits.
Longtime PGA Professional and golf store owner Mark Clavey, who is in his 20th year running the 4,000-square-foot retail shop in Illinois called Chicago Bills Golf, tried and researched a multitude of CBD gums, lotions and lip balms at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show. In sifting through all the marketing pitches and trying to determine which ones seem to be the most legitimate, Clavey landed on two that he plans to try this season: Natural Native CBD and Medterra.

“It’s popular for sure,” says Clavey, whose shop is part of the popular Green Valley Golf Range with 25 heated bays, 40 grass hitting stations and Toptracer technology.
“I think it’s got some mileage. I’m getting on the ground floor so that helps (sell it). Eventually, you’ll be able to get this everywhere,” he says.

Scott Kauffman is a golf business writer and the managing director of Aloha Media Group.

 

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