Big cannabis is making moves into the sports supplement industry, positioning cannabidiol (CBD) as a wellness product for athletes and fitness fans. Leading the way is Medical Marijuana, the first cannabis company to be publicly traded in the US, which has bagged former NFL player Andre Reed as a representative of its cannabis sports supplement range.

An inductee in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Reed is serving as a spokesman for the brand’s subsidiary Kannaway. He claims he regularly uses the brand’s CBD products.

“We are thrilled to work with individuals like Andre Reed, who has not only had a great experience with this incredibly beneficial supplement, but also wants to help share this experience with others,” said Medical Marijuana CEO Dr Stuart Titus.

“We hope that this type of support and education helps us increase public awareness of CBD’s many health and wellness benefits.”

Cannabis sport supplement market targets athletes

Kannaway is specifically targeting athletes, former athletes and fitness fans through its Kannaway Sports division.

In doing so, the brand is making a bid for a share of the increasingly lucrative sports nutrition and supplement market. According to Zion Market Research, the global sports nutrition market was worth $28.37bn in 2016, but is anticipated to grow to $45.27bn by 2022.

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By GlobalData

Attracting known athletes such as Reed helps to legitimise CBD as a suitable product for this use among consumers, making the plan a smart move for Kannaway and its parent company Medical Marijuana.

“We’re excited to work with Mr Reed and continue the conversation about the benefits that former athletes like him are experiencing from using CBD,” said Kannaway CEO Blake Schroeder.

“We feel confident that his story will further education on the benefits of CBD, particularly as a wellness supplement for both current and retired athletes.”

The medical cannabis industry is also seeing significant growth, as an increasing number of countries legalise the drug and others loosen rules surrounding its use. This has buoyed a number of other industries, including the alcoholic drinks market, which is seeing the increasing presence of cannabis-infused drinks.

“Widespread legalisation is making marijuana a trending ingredient, driving innovation in food and drink markets,” said a spokesperson for GlobalData Consumer.