According to NORML, there are about 25 million cannabis consumers in America (consumed marijuana at least once within the last year). Those 25 million consumers are spread out across the country, with some living in states where medical and/or recreational marijuana is legal, and sadly, the rest living in states where marijuana is fully prohibited. Some consumers get to feed a legal cannabis industry, while others send their dollars off into the black market.
Right now the cannabis industry is built on that consumer base. But that consumer base is about to grow exponentially, and in a very rapid fashion, at least in my opinion. I've been observing a growing sector of the cannabis industry with great intrigue lately, and I think it's about to explode in size. That sector is the sports and exercise sector.
According to a survey that was included in a 2008 publication, there are over 125 million adults in the United States that play a sport and/or exercise regularly. That was the most recent figure I could find. How many of those people are over 21, it doesn't say. How much has that number grown since 2008? That's tough to say either. However, it is safe to say that the number of people that participate in sports and/or exercise regularly is substantial.
That consumer base is becoming more and more aware of the wellness properties of cannabis. That's largely due to entities that are pushing awareness like the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition and Uncle Spliffy. Ex-athletes are coming out of the 'cannabis closet' and spreading awareness. They are providing personal testimonies of how cannabis helped treat their conditions, and in many cases, saved their lives. Harmful painkillers are pushed onto athletes constantly, leading to addiction and harming athletes' bodies. And to add insult to injury, the pharmaceutical drugs often don't really help anything, they just temporarily numb the body.
This is having a huge impact on the hearts and minds of American consumers, and is creating an enormous cannabis consumer base almost overnight. This consumer base would likely not be growing, or even exist, if it wasn't for athletes publicly supporting cannabis use and reform. I was an athlete growing up. I was by no means an elite athlete, but I loved competing and trying to exercise and stay healthy. Every coach I ever had told me that cannabis was bad, no matter what.
I think that all athletes were told that. Perceptions are changing now, but for many decades cannabis and sports/exercise didn't mix. Sports and exercise almost inevitably lead to injury at some point. Those that participate in those activities will at the least get some bumps and bruises, but the injuries can be much more severe in a lot of cases. Hurting people need cannabis, but when it comes to athletics, a lot of people still hold onto the perception that they were indoctrinated with that cannabis is bad for athletes.
The sports cannabis movement is changing that perception, and I couldn't be happier. I have talked with my father in law about cannabis, and I know that my wife has talked to him about it A LOT. He never, ever took it seriously, even thought he would greatly benefit from using non-psychoactive forms of cannabis. I'm happy to say that this last week he expressed an interest in trying out a cannabis topical rub after he retires. He can't do it now because of his job, but he will be retiring soon, and said he would at least give it a shot.
I can't emphasis enough, my father in law was not open to this idea even as recently as a month ago. So what changed? We started sharing with him information about the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition and Uncle Spliffy. He is a huge sports fan, and played sports growing up. I could talk until I'm blue in the face and it was easy to disregard. But when elite athletes, who have injuries galore, started making headlines it hit him with the truth from a different angle. A very powerful angle. I know that he's not alone.
I feel that the sports and exercise sector is going to revolutionize the cannabis industry. I also feel that cannabis is going to revolutionize sports and exercise. Instead of people using Icy Hot rub, they are going to use a cannabis rub. Instead of people using painkillers, they are going to use cannabis in various forms. People are going to feel better faster, and without all the side effects like what people are dealing with now when they use prescription pharmaceuticals, or even over the counter products.
The marijuana industry is on the cusp of something monumental. As athletes tell their stories, more minds are going to be changed, and more consumers are going to enter the industry. A very, very significant thing is about to happen in my opinion. Something is happening at the beginning of next month in Portland that I think is going to kick sports cannabis into hyper-drive.
ArcView Group, the legal cannabis industry's leading investment network, is putting on an event in Portland, Oregon in a couple of weeks. Former NBA All Star Cliff Robinson is going to be participating in the investment event and will be pitching his company Uncle Spliffy. It's my understanding that ESPN is going to be there, in addition to many other large media outlets. Sports cannabis is going to take center stage, and the world of athletics and exercise is about to have its mind blown.
I'm very, very curious to see what happens. When Cliff announced his company, it went viral on a level I have never seen before in the cannabis industry. I have personally seen people's minds be changed over night. It's one thing when my chubby Hobbit self tries to tell certain people about the benefits of cannabis, it's another thing when an elite physical specimen like Cliff Robinson talks about it. Cliff played in an NBA era when it was brutal, much different than the cupcake style game that is played today.
Cliff battled with some of the most hardcore wings and posts in the NBA during his career. I'd imagine that left him with a lot of aches and pains. I have talked with him on several occasions now, and he will be quick to tell you that cannabis has been the best treatment for him, by far. I think that this upcoming ArcView event is going to break the sports cannabis market wide open. I think that people, many of whom are not regular cannabis consumers or have never tried cannabis before, are going to see Uncle Spliffy on sports networks and think to themselves, 'maybe I should give that a try' or 'maybe I should look more into this.' That is going to be so huge that I can't really do it justice in words.
Again, this isn't just a group of a few dozen people. Potentially over 100 million adults play sports and/or exercise regularly, all of which may become a cannabis consumer. The same reason that people use products like Icy Hot is the same reason that people are going to use cannabis topical rubs. Especially once they realize that it works better! I will be glued to social media during the ArcView event to see what the reaction is by the sports and exercise media community. Cliff's brand is about more than just business, it's also about advocacy and compassion, and so I'm absolutely rooting for him, and you should be too!
Do you play sports and/or exercise regularly? Do you use cannabis to treat a related ailment or ailments? If so, share your story, either in the comments section below, or with people that you know!