A new survey has found that sports and marijuana go together for fans of e-sports, who are more likely than fans of any other sport to use cannabis or CBD products. Also near the top of the list are fans of UFC, tennis and racing.
On the other end of the spectrum, those watching golf, baseball and football tend not to partake – at least, not as much.
Those findings came in a new poll from Morning Consult, which surveyed self-identified fans of 14 different sports. They talked to 1,269 fans across the United States on Aug. 13-15. They wanted to explore the connection between sports and marijuana use.
About 35% of e-sports fans said that they smoke or ingest cannabis often or sometimes, while 29% said they used CBD products. For fans of Major League Baseball, those numbers were 20% and 17%, respectively.
Where All The Sports Fans Ranked
The survey asked fans of each sport about their use of marijuana and CBD products. Here are all the numbers for each. The first number is the percentage using marijuana, while the second represents the percentage using CBD products.
- E-sports – 35%, 29%
- UFC – 35%, 27%
- Formula 1 – 31%, 29%
- MotoGP – 30%, 30%
- Tennis – 30%, 27%
- Major League Soccer – 29%, 25%
- WNBA – 29%, 22%
- NASCAR – 25%, 20%
- NBA – 25%, 18%
- IndyCar – 23%, 19%
- NHL – 23%, 19%
- NFL – 22%, 17%
- Golf – 22%, 19%
- Major League Baseball – 20%, 17%
Of the five major sports in the United States, Major League Soccer has the most fans who use marijuana and CBD. It’s also interesting to note that NASCAR fans, often tied to the conservative South, are just as likely to use cannabis as NBA fans and more likely than NFL fans.
A Marketing Opportunity Lost
Morning Consult noted that the only thing keeping some of these sports from taking advertising from cannabis companies is the fact that it remains illegal at the federal level.
“Despite marijuana being legal in 11 states, its classification as an illegal Schedule I drug by the United States government is a non-starter for the leagues,” they wrote. “While some properties might be reluctant to associate with marijuana regardless of its legal status, the quick rush of leagues and teams to do business with betting companies following the Supreme Court’s 2018 reversal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act showed how quickly taboos can change.”
They noted that another “key barrier” is that many of the sports leagues will not allow their own players to use cannabis. “Most leagues aren’t comfortable promoting something they aren’t willing to let their athletes use,” researchers wrote.
That may change sooner rather than later. The NBA, NFL and MLB are either talking about or have already taken steps to limit testing for players. In the case of the NFL, they also are not automatically suspending a player for testing positive.