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Study Finds UFC and Esports Fans Consume More Cannabis

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A new study conducted by Morning Consult shows that among a variety of types of sports fans, UFC and esports fans are more likely to vape cannabis.

Morning Consult studied the results of somewhere between 252 and 1,269 “self-identified fans” that consider themselves admirers of the following sports: Esports, F1, Golf, IndyCar, MLB, MLS, MotoGP, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, Tennis, UFC and the WNBA. Based on study results, the fans of esports and UFC were more likely to consume cannabis (defined as smoking or ingesting cannabis) than any other group. Thirty-five percent of both esports and UFC fans partake in cannabis consumption “often or sometimes.” The study also examined fans’ CBD consumption habits as well, which placed esports fans at 29 percent and UFC fans at 27, respectively, although the highest percentage of CBD consumers was actually assigned to MotoGP fans (30 percent) and F1 fans (29 percent).

The two groups of fans who scored the lowest on the cannabis consumption chart belonged to the MLB fans at 20 percent and golf fans at 22 percent. “A key barrier is that top-tier sports leagues’ collective bargaining agreements prohibit players from using cannabis products. While that didn’t deter IndyCar—CBD is on the banned substance list for its drivers—most leagues aren’t comfortable promoting something they aren’t willing to let their athletes use,” stated Morning Consult.

The study was initially announced before the conclusion of the Indianapolis 500, which occurred in late August. Although it is common for tobacco companies to advertise on Indy cars, this year there were three cars sported promotion by e-cigarette brand Vuse. However this wasn’t the first time a cannabis-related brand sponsored an Indy car. The first time is attributed to a CBD company sponsorship from 2019.

The study also examined the prominence of different types of sponsorships. A handful of sports organizations have no problem allowing players or drivers from accepting sponsorship deals with beer and spirits companies. When it comes down to cigarettes, vaping, cannabis and CBD though, prohibition is still the standard.

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