Toronto Wolfpack's Rugby Strength CBD creams

  • Canada's Toronto Wolfpack rugby team bills itself as the world's first transatlantic professional sports team, and it is unashamedly commercial.
  • The team says it knows a thing or two about pain, which is why it is launching a line of dagga-infused topical creams.
  • Because South Africa knows a thing or two about rugby, the Rugby Strength line is due to be sold here by October.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

Canadian rugby team Toronto Wolfpack plans to have a line of dagga-infused pain-relief creams for sale in South Africa by October, as Canada continues to rapidly commercialise cannabis products – and as Wolfpack looks for commercial opportunities wherever rugby is popular. 

The team believes it will be the the first professional sporting team to enter the exploding market in products containing cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound derived from marijuana and hemp.

The "Rugby Strength" line will be marketed by the Wolfpack's commercial arm HowlBrands with the tag line "We know a thing or two about pain!", but will punted by athletes rather than just to athletes.

See also: Decriminalising dagga in SA is not necessarily where the money is, says agriculture body

"In the same way that one does not have to be an athlete or play sports to wear Nike shoes, one does not have to be an athlete or play sports to use Rugby Strength or other HowlBrands products," said Wolfpack chairperson David Argyle in a statement. "Anyone who experiences pain, soreness or physical discomfort can use Rugby Strength."

The Toronto Wolfpack could not this week say how much it creams are likely to cost in South Africa, or how they may be distributed other than via direct online sales.

The range will feature creams with between 125mg and 500mg of CBD, and will be manufactured by the ICC International Cannabis Corporation, a Canadian-listed company that has or is setting up cannabis operations stretching from Lesotho to Bulgaria.

See also: The South African dagga industry could be worth R27 billion within four years – but export-quality cannabis may be a problem

The companies have plans to expand into tinctures and roll-ons too, all of which it says will be rapidly absorbed for pain relief. 

Toronto Wolfpack bills itself as the first transatlantic professional sports team in the world; it competes in England's second division from its base in Canada, where it hopes to create a global centre of rugby excellence. It expects to be promoted to Europe's Super League in 2020.

Established in 2017 as an unashamedly commercial venture, the club says it is now capable of attracting just under 10,000 fans to stadiums for home games.

The club is currently trying to sign up All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams – no matter what the price – and reportedly has more superstars on its wish list.

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