oxer Anthony Joshua is to become a key shareholder in cannabidiol brand Love Hemp.
The two-time world heavyweight champion has signed a three-year tie-up that will see him act as ambassador for the Aquis-listed company, and collaborate on a licenced range of CBD products for athletes.
CBD stands for cannabidiol -the non-psychoative compound in cannabis plants. It is used medicinally to treat conditions including insomnia, and to provide pain relief.
The Olympic gold medallist will join the London-based firm, which recently changed its name from World High Life and has products stocked in major UK retailers, from July. Joshua will be issued shares to be held by his management company, 258 MGT, in lieu of a cash payment for the tie-up.
It comes after the brand signed a deal with mixed martial arts organisation UFC earlier this year. Love Hemp CEO, Tony Calamita, said bringing Joshua on board will be “key to the ongoing growth of the Love Hemp brand into the amateur and elite sports world”.
The star athlete said: “The ability of CBD to improve people’s everyday lives is undeniable. I have a passion for dynamic British businesses, and for wellness, making Love Hemp a perfect brand for me to endorse and become a shareholder in.
“My work with Love Hemp will allow me to be involved in the company’s aggressive growth strategy as well as developing my own branded wellness focused CBD products.”
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has estimated the global consumer market for CBD is set to reach a value of around $39 billion by 2032.
Calamita said CBD can help athletes achieve faster muscle recovery, effective pain management and reduced inflammation, and that the boxer “will help us deliver this important message to the highest levels of UK and international sport”.
AJ Bell financial analyst Danni Hewson labelled the tie-up a “smart move”.
Love Hemp has reported seeing demand surge since the pandemic hit as people have looked for help with anxiety or sleep disorders.
The brand also recently revealed its newsletter subscribers will be able to get free access to 24/7 online mental health support service Togetherall, which offers some access to trained professionals and a range of courses and resources.