Pro Hockey Players Association Becomes First Athlete Union With a Cannabis Partner

The PHPA, which represents AHL and ECHL players, is now in business with Tidal Health Solutions.

If you haven’t watched much hockey up close, you might have an excuse to dismiss the incredible wear and tear the game takes on its players. The challenge is real, of course — and significant challenges require creative solutions.

With that in mind, the Pro Hockey Players Association just made history. The labor union that represents players in the American Hockey League and the ECHL (formerly the East Coast Hockey League) has inked a contract with therapeutic cannabis company Tidal Health Solutions.

They’re the first professional sports union to agree to such a partnership, which will include both medical cannabis products and educational resources.

“On behalf of our entire Membership and vast Alumni Network of over 8,000 former PHPA Members, the PHPA is proud to welcome Tidal as our official cannabis partner,” said Larry Landon, the union’s executive director, in an official release

“We look forward to working with Tidal to provide our active Members and our Alumni Network with education around the appropriate use of cannabis products that have been developed for the medical and wellness markets as a potential way to manage pain,” he said.

Hockey players are playing an increasingly prominent role in the popularization of cannabis products. In February, NHL legend Mark Messier became an equity partner in NXT Water, the company that makes Akeso, a water brand infused with broad-spectrum hemp extract.

And with this latest news from the lower divisions, the NHL will surely be forced to take notice.

“We are very proud to be partnering with the PHPA,” said Tidal president and CEO Mark E. Burton. “We are looking forward to helping these elite athletes to understand and benefit from the medical use of cannabis, and believe that Tidal’s innovative line of medical and wellness products will be very popular with PHPA Members and Alumni.”

As the main feeder league to the NHL, establishing a foundation of cannabis-enhanced health and wellness in the AHL ranks has a chance to go a long, long way in revolutionizing the way that the hockey establishment addresses not just physical realities like pain and inflammation, but mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

The potential for this relationship to produce long-lasting benefits is significant. And it’s set to be a test case that other athletic organizations would do well to follow closely.

Sign Up For Our Newsletters

Get on our list for sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.


Enter your email below