Megan was drawn to using cannabis as part of her sports regime because she wanted a healthier and more natural option for pain management, sleep aid, and general recovery.
Olympic gold medalist, two-time Women’s World Cup champion, and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, Megan Rapinoe continues her role as an athlete and activist by partnering with Mendi, a Portland based female-led CBD sports brand co-founded by her fraternal twin Rachel.
While numerous mostly male sports figures have endorsed cannabis and CBD products, as Rachel notes, “No other CBD brand has signed an athlete as recognizable as Rapinoe and who are still playing.” In her estimation, by signing with Mendi as an athlete, this signifies Megan also has skin in the game as an advisor and strategic partner. “She wants a robust role to help us grow from an underdog to a global CBD sports brand.”
Prior to this endorsement, Megan became known for her advocacy work off the pitch by aligning the equality and social justice movements the past several years. Rachel hopes to leverage this “badassness,” as well as the national appetite that consumers currently have to support athletes who stand for something.
As Rachel observes, “There is no better group of people than female athletes to help Mendi rise to the top. They have fought tooth and nail for every dollar made, better work environments, and every ounce of respect.”
According to Rachel, Megan was drawn to using cannabis as part of her sports regime because she wanted a healthier and more natural option for pain management, sleep aid, and general recovery. “This message resonates with every athlete because recovery is one of the most important aspects of training.”
Since they are coming to market with current high profile athletes, Mendi chose to provide a line of products that are THC free, and thus safe for them to use while splaying sports. According to Rachel, “The stigma of cannabis in sports is still a very real thing, which we hope to disrupt, but for now, we are providing the highest quality all-natural, USA grown hemp CBD products that are trusted by the pros.” Athletes use their vegan gummies or soft-gels for longer-lasting pain relief, inflammation, sleeping aid, and overall calmness, and their all-natural salve stick for quick relief from pain and inflammation to a specific area of the body such as the joints or bruises.
As a predominately female-founded organization, Mendi has fought for equality both on the playing field and in the cannabis space. In April 2019, Mendi was one of the first cannabis companies participating in The Initiative, a Portland based accelerator program designed for women cannabis entrepreneurs. Upon successful completion of this program, all graduates were awarded the opportunity to pitch their projects to investors at two major events, TechFest NW (Portland, OR) and the Arcview Investors Forum (Vancouver, BC). Mendi received the distinction of being one of the finalists invited to present their pitch on TechFestNW’s main stage.
These experiences gave Rachel and the other founder of Mendi the practical skills and networking contacts needed to take full advantage of Megan’s role spearheading Mendi’s ‘Athlete Ambassador Program.’ Rachel hopes Megan and other athletes that they bring on board will help them move the needle to destigmatize cannabis in sports. “The decision-makers need to understand that athletes want and need a much healthier option to compete at the highest levels. As the industry matures and products are more measurable and transparent, the general ‘fear’ of cannabis will subside. It needs to be normalized. It needs to be researched. And it needs to be in the hands of athletes instead of opioids and NSAIDS.”