Former New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is taking an ownership stake in Abacus Health Products, a Rhode Island-based company that produces CBDMedic and is publicly traded on the Canadian Securities Exchange, WBUR reports. At a news conference yesterday, Gronkowski – a three-time Super Bowl champion and five-time Pro Bowl selection – credited CBD with making him “pain-free” for the first time in a decade.
“I’m here today to appeal to the sports governing bodies of the world to update their position on CBD, whether that’s the NBA, MLB or NFL. It’s just time.” – Gronkowski, during a news conference, via WBUR
Gronkowski, who is just 30-years-old, retired from the National Football League after last season following a career plagued by injuries and nine surgeries.
“[The injuries] took an absolute beating on my mind and my soul. I was hurt both mentally and physically, day in and day out,” Gronkowski said during the conference. “I decided to walk away from the game for one reason: I had to recover.”
During his remarks, Gronkowski indicated if his health continues to improve he would consider returning to the league; however, as Dan Roche of WBZ-TV points out, CBD is still banned by the NFL and Gronkowski would be facing a suspension if he continued using CBD products and returned to football. The league did announce in May that it, along with the NFL Player’s Association, is including medical cannabis and cannabinoids to its pain management research.
Abacus makes topical CBD products and plans to partner with Gronkowski on a line of edibles next year.
Several other former NFL players have either launched, or expressed interest in launching, cannabis-related businesses post-retirement, including Ricky Williams, Calvin Johnson and Rob Sims, and Troy Smith and Eric Metcalf.