I know a lot of people that play sports and/or exercise regularly. I used to play sports quite a bit before I was diagnosed with arthritis in my foot. I still exercise though, as should everyone. It's estimated that over 125 million adults play some type of sport and/or exercise regularly. That number just includes adults, and when compared to the overall population of America (estimated to be about 318 million people of all ages), it becomes even more relevant.
That's why I think the 'sports cannabis' movement is going to be such a big deal, both for the cannabis industry as well as for cannabis reform efforts. I have stated many times that I think that the cannabis sports sector will likely become the biggest sector of the entire industry. Because of how many people play sports and/or exercise regularly in America, I also think that the sports cannabis movement will push reform efforts over the top, and that all activists should support the sports cannabis movement whether they like/play sports or not.
For a very long time sports and cannabis have been separated. Coaches at all levels have frowned upon cannabis use, as have professional sports leagues and team owners. There has long been a perception in sports that cannabis was bad for athletes, with no exceptions. But that's starting to change. Current players like Baltimore Ravens player Eugene Monroe have come out in support of cannabis reform in sports, which led to his team owner coming out in support of him. That's a very, very significant thing that I hope everyone grasps the magnitude of. It's the first step in getting all leagues and team owners on board with cannabis reform.
But with the strides still come opposition. For instance when Eugene Monroe started getting vocal about his support for cannabis research and reform, there was at least one fan that tweeted at him stating that it wasn't a good idea. I like to think that the fan just needed to be educated, as does anyone who opposes cannabis reform in professional sports. I think the 'turning point' for sports cannabis is going to come next week at an event in Portland, Oregon.
ArcView Group, the leading investment network in the cannabis industry, is putting on one of their events in Portland, Oregon early next week. Former NBA All Star (and all around awesome advocate) Cliff Robinson will be pitching his company Uncle Spliffy. When Cliff announced his intentions to get into the cannabis industry and launch his sports cannabis advocacy mission, it was international news. I have never seen something in the cannabis industry go so viral so fast. I read about it in media outlets from Oregon to Europe and Asia and everywhere in between.
It's my understanding that ESPN will be at the ArcView event to cover the Uncle Spliffy pitch. I have been referring to it as 'the moment when the sports world discovers cannabis.' ESPN and other major sports networks have covered cannabis a lot over the years, but it's always been related to a player getting caught with cannabis away from the team, or for failing a drug test and getting suspended and fined as a result. The coverage has always been negative.
I expect that to change after next week. Will there still be tongue-in-cheek comments on sports news networks? Of course. Will there still be negative coverage? Of course. However, there will also be a growing amount of positive coverage too I think, because Cliff's pitch is going to open the floodgates to former (and current) athletes to follow in Cliff's footsteps. The sports world, and society at large, will start to see that not only is cannabis not the villain it has been portrayed to be, but that it can provide a great deal of benefit to athletes.
I expect next week's ArcView event to be the point in time that people point to as being 'when the sports cannabis movement arrived.' Sports cannabis has been a growing movement for awhile, but with it taking center stage at an ArcView event, and being covered by the biggest sports media outlet on the planet, it's about to be catapulted to a whole new level. Imagine how many minds will be changed in the sports world as a result? Imagine how many minds will be changed outside of the sports world? Powerful stuff! Below is more information about the ArcView event. I plan on nerding out quite a bit on social media and reading comments on articles, so if I'm unreachable next week, then you know why! Go Team Spliffy!
More than 200 high net worth investors from around the world will gather in Portland, OR at the ArcView Investor Forum. The ArcView Investor Network includes more than 500 accredited investor members who have put more than $70 million behind 111 cannabis-related companies.
Taking place at the Marriott Downtown Waterfront for a two day "Shark Tank"-like pitch forum on Monday, May 2nd and Tuesday, May 3rd, accredited investors will be reviewing pitches from dozens of companies who competed fiercely for the pitch slots out of a field of hundreds of applicants. Cliff Robinson, former NBA All-Star will be pitching his company, Uncle Spliffy. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), a leading Congressional advocate for legalizing marijuana, will be addressing this highly concentrated group of industry leaders. Former NFL star, Ricky Williams will also be in attendance.
"We've hosted ArcView pitch forums in many states but investors are particularly excited about Oregon because we are arriving just weeks after Oregon lifted its residency requirement for investors. This is going to help a lot of businesses get the capital they need to thrive in this new market," said Troy Dayton, CEO and co-founder of The ArcView Group.
- What: Select media representatives will be invited to witness presentations from pitching companies. Throughout the day, select reporters will be able to interview high net worth investors who have recently invested in the sector or are considering it, companies that have recently been funded, and elected officials that support legalization.
- When: Monday, May 2nd and Tuesday, May 3rd from approximately 9:00AM - 4:00PM
- Where: Marriott Downtown Waterfront, 1401 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, OR 97201
- You must get prior approval and have press credentials to attend.
About The ArcView Group
Founded in 2010, The ArcView Group is responsible for a number of groundbreaking ventures in the cannabis industry. The ArcView Investor Network includes more than 500 accredited investors who have put more than $70 million behind 111 companies. ArcView Market Research co-produces the State of Legal Marijuana Markets report with New Frontier, which is the most oft-cited market data report. In 2015 ArcView became a partner in CanopyBoulder, the first seed-stage mentor-driven business accelerator. ArcView is also co-founder of Cannasure Insurance Services, the leading provider of business insurance to the cannabis industry.
Some of the people you can meet:
Cliff Robinson, formerly an NBA basketball all-star with the Portland Trailblazers, Phoenix Suns, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, and New Jersey Nets. A passionate cannabis advocate, Cliff hopes to create a "Sports Cannabis" market with his new business, Uncle Spliffy.
Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), leading advocate in Congress for changes to federal drug laws. He was deeply involved with the successful campaign to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana in Oregon in 2014. Since its passage, he has worked closely with stakeholders in the state as the law has been implemented.
Ricky Williams, former NFL player with the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, and Baltimore Ravens. As a part of Weedmaps' 420 Games, he is an outspoken supporter of cannabis.
Steve DeAngelo, executive director of Harborside Health Centers, star of Discovery Channel's hit show Weed Wars, author of new book The Cannabis Manifesto, co-founder and President of The ArcView Group, co-founder of the first cannabis testing lab, Steep Hill.
Troy Dayton, Co-founder and CEO of The ArcView Group, board member of the Marijuana Policy Project and the National Cannabis Industry Association. Co-founder of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Named by Fortune Magazine, International Business Times, and Details Magazine in their lists of most influential people in the cannabis industry.
Jeanne Sullivan, co-founder of StarVest Partners, a venture capital firm in NYC, and long time tech investor. Cited by Forbes as "one of the women venture capitalists changing the world - grooming the next generation of female entrepreneurs."
Jeremy Pratt, CEO of Nectar PDX, one of the largest medical marijuana dispensary chains in Oregon.
Nishan Karassik, CEO of Phylos Biosciences, a Portland based agricultural genomics company focused on cannabis.
John Kagia, Director of Industry Analytics at New Frontier, and lead researcher for the recently released 4th edition of the State of Legal Marijuana Markets co-published and co-produced with ArcView Market Research.
Patrick Rea, Managing Director of CanopyBoulder, a seed-stage, mentor-driven business accelerator partnered with ArcView that has invested in 29 cannabis-related startups.
Alan Gertner, Founder of Tokyo Smoke, a coffee, clothing, and cannabis brand. Former head of Asia-Pacific sales for Google
Amy Poinsett, co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of MJ Freeway Business Solutions, raised money from ArcView member Joby Pritzker of Tao Capital, listed as one of the fastest growing companies from Inc. Magazine, and her business partner Jessica Billingsley was named to the Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs by Fortune Magazine.
Isaac Dietrich, co-founder and the Chief Executive Officer of MassRoots, prior to co-founding MassRoots he was a finalist for Peter Thiel's 20 Under 20 fellowship. MassRoots raised millions from ArcView members before going public.
Rob Kampia, co-founder and Executive Director of Marijuana Policy Project. He is an architect of most of the state-level marijuana reforms that have been enacted in the United States since 2000.
Event sponsors include: Advanced Nutrients, Uncle Spliffy, Marijuana Business Daily, Nectar PDX, MedMen, Steep Hill Labs, MassRoots, Green Flower Media, Drug Policy Alliance, Electrum Partners, Oregon Cannabis Association, Cannasure Insurance Services, CanopyBoulder, NeWay Capital, Marijuana Policy Project, New Frontier, Tokyo Smoke, National Cannabis Industry Association