Chad Reed ran the “censored” sticker on his helmet to promote CBDmd and to get around the ban. Photo by: Suzuki

With top tier supercross and motocross stars like Chad Reed (CBDmd) and Dean Wilson (Ignite CBD) both signing on to promote CBD companies, whether or not they can talk about their sponsors on TV or display signage at the races to promote their sponsors has been a hot topic in 2019.

Despite the federal Farm Bill—making CBD federally legal—becoming law, some states have still not made it legal. With that, FELD and NBC Sports took a hard stance against the riders talking about CBD or showing any signage. Any and all signage and talking about the companies is basically banned from Monster Energy Supercross in ’19 and the riders were told that there would be some very harsh consequences if they violated that ban. The letters CBD are not allowed anywhere near Supercross.

Listen to how Chad Reed worked around the CBD ban during his NBC Sports post-race podium interview at the 2019 Detroit SX below.

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MX Sports is allowing CBD Sponsorship and signage in the pits. Still no on-air promoting of CBD on-air during NBC Sports Broadcast. With Pro Motocross loosening their stance we still may see on-air interviews like this, but riders are free to talk off-air. Gotta love @crtwotwo ‘s ability to get sponsors love no matter what

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NBC Sports is the broadcasting company for both motocross and supercross, so it is no surprise that the same ban for in-broadcast promotions of CBD would carry over to the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, but MXSports is loosening their regulations quite a bit for any and all off-air promotions of CBD. Like for SX, riders are not allowed to display any signage on their bikes or person and they are not allowed to talk about their CBD sponsorships in any NBC Sports in-broadcast interviews. Unlike SX, riders and teams are permitted to display signage in the pits, on their team rigs and riders are permitted to talk about their CBD sponsorship in any off-air interviews.

Dean Wilson’s Instagram promo for his Ignite CBD sponsorship.

This is a huge step in the right direction for a sport that struggles to bring in sponsorship from companies outside the industry. The ever-evolving cannabis industry has billions of dollars and with motocross and supercross being perfect for their target market, I will not be surprised if they begin encroaching on the energy drinks in the future.

Check out MXSports press release from earlier today:

COMPETITION BULLETIN 2019-5: Pro Motocross CBD Product Policy

The issue has arisen with regard to the efficacy of CBD Product sponsorship of riders and/or teams associated with the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Currently CBD product sale, use, advertising and promotion is governed by both state and federal regulation, on a state-by-state basis. In December, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized cannabidiol (CBD) products derived exclusively from hemp, a member of the cannabis plant family that does not contain more than 0.3 percent of THC (the compound most commonly associated with the psychoactive effects of “getting high”). The condition for this deregulation is that the hemp be produced by a licensed grower in a manner consistent with Farm Bill guidelines and associated federal and state regulations. All other CBD products, produced in any other manner, remain a prohibited Schedule I substance under federal criminal law and thus remain illegal.

Although some states legalize all CBD-related products, most states have not. Hence, despite the change in federal law, current broadcast network standards and practices continue to prohibit the in-broadcast advertising or promotion of all CBD products.

Accordingly, until further notice, the signage and promotion of all CBD products on or by riders, team members or their machines remains prohibited. Riders and team members are prohibited from having CBD-related logos or other promotional displays on their person, uniform, gear or motorcycle, or on any other item that may appear in-broadcast. No in-broadcast visual or verbal mention of CBD-related products will be permitted.

This restriction, however, does not prohibit riders and teams from securing hemp-derived CBD Product sponsors, so long as the aforesaid in-broadcast regulations are complied with. Riders are free to obtain hemp-derived CBD Product sponsors only and may display their logos on their team rigs or in their display areas, make mentions in off-air interviews, and otherwise promote their sponsor. All other CBD Products remain restricted and may not be promoted. The intent of this policy is to prohibit the in-broadcast signage or promotion of CBD Products only – not to limit or restrict riders from obtaining legal hemp-derived CBD Product sponsorship.

Riders will be required to cover or remove any logo or image in violation of this policy. Failure to comply will result in removal of the rider and/or team member from the race program. In addition, sanctions may be applied pursuant to the AMA Pro Racing Rules for Professional Motocross Competition for any willful or reckless violation of this policy.

MX Sports Pro Racing understands that this policy differs from that recently issued by AMA for Supercross application and urges riders and teams to make themselves aware of the distinction between the two policies.

Riders and teams are responsible for seeking their own legal counsel with regard to their association with CBD products and promotions, and MX Sports Pro Racing makes no legal representations with regard to the legality of same.

MX Sports Pro Racing Managing Director Roy Janson:

“We recognize that there is an opportunity for growth in the sport of motocross within the cannabidiol space. Since it is not included on the USADA banned substance list many of our competitors use it as a recovery supplement, so it is only natural that these products and the companies that make them would have interest in investing sponsorship dollars into a team, or individually with a rider. We fully support opportunities like this that benefit our competitors, and while federal regulations are still fluid in regards to the legality of CBD products as a whole, we believe we have provided a much-needed compromise for hemp-derived CBD products and companies to support the sport.”

Please direct all questions to Jeff Canfield at JCanfield@mxsports.com.