Canopy Growth Corp Acquires Majority Stake in Biosteel Sports Nutrition Inc.

Canopy Growth Corporation, the cannabis company founded in Smiths Falls, Canada, announced back in October that it acquired a majority stake in BioSteel Sports Nutrition Inc. Specifically, it acquired a 72% ownership stake with a plan in place to move toward 100% ownership.

BioSteel has had a long reputation as a leading sports nutrition and hydration product company that has loyal clients among many of the world’s top athletes. In fact, more than 70% of North America’s professional sports teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL regularly purchase BioSteel’s products. 

Top athletes that are ambassadors for the BioSteel brand include Andrew Wiggins of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA, Gleyber Torres from the New York Yankees in the MLB, Connor McDavid from the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL, and Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL.

Elliott’s ambassadorship is of particular interest for this deal, as one of the primary reasons for Canopy Growth Corporation’s acquisition is to begin creating nutritional products that contain CBD for athletes. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive component from marijuana and hemp that has been found to help with various medical issues such as pain, inflammation, anxiety, and so on. More and more sports leagues and governing bodies all over the world are starting to open their regulations to allow for CBD use, as it does not have performance enhancing or addictive qualities. 

The NFL does not currently allow their players to use CBD products, but there is a strong movement to change those regulations. Ezekiel Elliot’s status as an ambassador for BioSteel will put them in a strong position to begin marketing their CBD-infused nutrition products to athletes in the NFL.

The CEO for Canopy Growth Corporation, Mark Sekulin, announced their roadmap in a statement following the acquisition: "This acquisition allows us to enter the sports nutrition space with a strong and growing brand as we continue towards a regulated market of food and beverage products that contain cannabis.”

Michael Cammalleri, the co-founder and co-CEO of BioSteel, has spoken out about legalizing CBD use in all professional sports: “The use and acceptance of CBD-based products in the professional sports landscape has changed. We have witnessed the negative effects of prescription painkillers and athletes are looking for healthier alternatives.”

As of 2018, CBD products were removed from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s list of prohibited substances for use by athletes in international sporting events they oversee. Since then, more professional sports organizations are moving toward following suit. The reason behind this movement lies with newer research into the medical benefits of CBD.

CBD is a natural and completely safe substance for athletes to take to help deal with pain and inflammation. It’s primary attribute of interest to athletes will undoubtedly be for treating pain, especially given more recent doubt surrounding the use of opioids and NSAIDs as painkillers. However, CBD has also been shown to reduce stress and settle nausea, which are two additional issues that athletes may need to alleviate. Lastly, it has been shown to improve sleep quality. Any athlete in the NBA, NHL or MLB will tell you that a good night’s sleep can be extremely difficult considering their crazy travel schedules.

It will be worth following how this acquisition affects the market of CBD products for sports use as more leagues and organizations remove restrictions related to them.

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