Going forward, the AMA’s Supercross series will not allow racers to display CBD advertising logos during a race event—at least, that’s the rule for now.
In a brave new world of increasing pot legalization, companies selling marijuana derivatives have emerged as racing sponsors in the US. The companies range from outfits selling substances containing psychoactive THC, to other business selling cannabidiol, or CBD, a cannabis-derived oil which is both supposedly therapeutic and non-psychoactive.
Publicly advertising these products would have been unthinkable a generation ago, but now that many US states have decriminalized marijuana consumption or possession to some degree, there is big money at stake here. As racing becomes more and more expensive and the lineup of potential sponsors shrinks, racers – and not just Supercross riders – are happy to explore this new revenue source.
However, Supercross management isn’t quite so happy about this development. While CBD or other cannabis-derived products may fall into a legal gray area, they still aren’t legal in every state Supercross visits. and they certainly haven’t gained full FDA approval yet, and advertisement standards for these substances are also still mostly undecided.
Considering Supercross is broadcast nationally, advertising substances that lack full approval at the federal level could very well create a headache for racers, or for the series and its broadcasters. So while guys like Chad Reed and Dean Wilson have already taken advantage of the new opportunities to advertise CBD products, Supercross is shutting it down, at least for now. The AMA’s press release said:
“Due to the ongoing issues arising from CBD Product sponsorships, we are providing the following notice to riders and their teams.
– The law regarding CBD products, including their lawful sale, possession, advertising, and sponsorship of them, is unsettled. Notwithstanding the change in federal law in December 2018, there are no federal regulations in place yet on how these products can be advertised or promoted. CBD and related products are not completely legal in all 50 states and there are various restrictions on their sale and promotion.
– Signage or promotional displays for CBD-related products will not be allowed in the pit areas.
– No rider will be allowed to race with logos or other promotional displays on their person, their uniform, their gear, or on their bike.
– The AMA will be enforcing this at inspection points and at any other time a violation is brought to the attention of Feld Motor Sports or the AMA. Riders will be required to cover or remove any logo before being allowed to race and at no time during the event are the display of CBD-related logos permitted. Failure to comply with this will result in a rider being removed from a race or denied entry.
– In addition, sanctions may be applied pursuant to the AMA Supercross rule book for any rider who violates this policy.
– This will remain in effect until further notice.”
AMA organizers did seem to think CBD sponsorship is coming, but that it will be a while before it happens, as the feds will have to decide on all the laws surrounding its usage, legality and advertisement first.
As well, it also seems AMA isn’t saying riders cannot endorse or have CBD sponsorships. They just aren’t allowed to have those logos on their bikes or anywhere else around the AMA events, but that doesn’t rule out Instagram posts, like Chad Reed’s above.