USL team signs sponsorship deal with marijuana dispensary

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New United Soccer League club Las Vegas Lights, made famous by their wildly colorful (and admittedly awesome) home kits this season as well as the signing of Freddy Adu, has made another splash among the soccer community.

The Lights have become the first professional sports team in the United States to partner with a marijuana dispensary, signing a deal with NuWu Cannabis, a dispensary in Las Vegas. The club’s social media account loudly proclaimed the accomplishment, as the club has a clear “shock the world” type of marketing strategy in its first season of existence. The dispensary is the largest in the world, and sells to over 1,000 customers a day, according to ESPN reporter Darren Rovell.

“We love Las Vegas, and we’re not embarrassed to support any business here,” Las Vegas Lights Chief Operating Officer Brett Lashbrook said. “This is the right time and the right market to do this, and we’re not going to hide. We think this will be part of the destigmatization of this substance and business. This isn’t some shady guys walking around with hoods over their heads. This shop is closer to an Apple Store.”

There are laws about advertising marijuana to children, similar to the laws that exist that restrict tobacco advertising, so the club will need to tread carefully to remain in compliance. However, Rovell reports that the club could potentially have a branded marijuana in the dispensary as well as branded paraphernalia.

Recreational marijuana was legalized in Las Vegas in July 2017.