Hemp Sponsored Car Wins 2nd NASCAR Race
The hemp industry is, once again, singing praises and giving out high fives after another historic weekend. Tyler Reddick of Richard Childress Racing took home the NASCAR Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway over the weekend. This follows Reddick’s first win in the Kwik Trip 250 presented by JOCKEY Made in America Road America.
Richard Childress Racing (RCR) is the very first team in NASCAR with a hemp sponsor. In January of 2022, RCR announced that 3CHI would be the anchor partner of Tyler Reddick’s No. 8 Chevrolet for the 2022 racing year. Though they have a multi-year deal, any change in federal or state regulations surrounding the hemp industry could change the agreement.
This sponsorship is the first hemp-based consumer brand sponsorship across all major professional sports in The United States but not the first CBD-type sponsorship in the league. In 2021, the first sponsorship for NASCAR that specifically promoted a CBD product was under Pocono Raceway. The 2021 race was titled “The Pocono Organics CBD 325”, though on television, “CBD” and the logo were removed from view.
3CHI has made huge strides for other hemp brands in terms of opening lanes for sponsorships, selling at sports events, and just overall exposure. Since the start of their sponsorship, 3CHI has been able to set up vendor booths at many race tracks. This is great news for other hemp brands because not only is 3CHI getting their name out there, they are also setting up the hemp industry as a whole for victory.
The more any hemp brand is exposed and in the general public, selling and teaching to people that wouldn’t have previously been subjected to learning about CBD products, the better for the hemp industry. More people learning about the hemp industry can help push more research and expanding views of hemp and even cannabis.
As of the time of this article being written, Richard Childress Racing is the first team with a hemp company sponsorship. Of course, there have been other teams with talks of getting CBD company sponsorships, none of yet to be able to get approval from NASCAR.
How They Got Approval
Even though CBD is slowly becoming more mainstream, the stigma surrounding it reflects on possible sponsorships throughout all major leagues, even NASCAR. There is now a base set of guidelines for CBD sponsorships in NASCAR.
Here are the guidelines CBD sponsorships must adhere to in NASCAR;
- The product on the car must be tested and must be legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, which requires less than 0.3% delta-9 THC content. The testing must be paid for by the team and conducted at a NASCAR-approved lab. If the sponsor is a general name of the company, all base products of the company must be tested.
- Approvals for schemes and sponsorship may change at any time based on changes to federal and state laws or broadcast guidelines.
- Synthetic CBD is not allowed.
- Paint schemes must be submitted 30 days in advance, with no slogans about health benefits. They can’t have the words "CBD" or "hemp" unless in the name of the products, and they cannot feature images of the plant or images of delta-8 products.
- Teams must carry additional insurance indemnifying NASCAR for any liability from lawsuits related to the use of the product.
- Approval doesn’t waive any part of NASCAR's substance abuse policy when it comes to drug testing of drivers and crew members.
Even though seemingly strict guidelines, these help open up more lanes in which other major league sports can start looking to hemp sponsorships.
Hemp Sponsorship in Sports
Prior to the 2022 contract between 3CHI and RCR, hemp sponsorships were typically frowned upon. Hemp and cannabis were put into the same stigmatized category. Since debuting as the first hemp sponsor in major league sports, 3CHI is helping pave the way for CBD sponsors in other sports. With these newly forming relationships and contracts, rules and regulations within the leagues will have to be continually amended based on federal and state laws around the products.
Though all other North American major leagues (NBA, NFL, and NHL) have prohibited CBD (and other cannabinoid) sponsorships, the MLB has begun looking for CBD sponsorships to lead them into a growing industry. As of June 2022, league officials of the MLB stated that CBD is “henceforth an ‘approved category’ as long as they are certified by testing organization NSF to not have psychoactive levels of THC”.
In terms of players being able to use CBD, the MLB and NHL are the only two of which currently have “tolerant” CBD policies. Because of this, we can assume the NHL might not be that far behind in choosing to allow CBD sponsorship in the near future.