A Blunt End: Dolphins Medicinal Cannabis Sponsorship At Risk

A Blunt End: Dolphins Medicinal Cannabis Sponsorship At Risk

NRL team Dolphins have received an ‘education and guidance letter’ from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) over their partnership with Alternaleaf, a company that prescribes medicinal cannabis.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the TGA is reviewing the sponsorship deal over breaches of the Therapeutic Goods Act that bans the advertisement of prescription medicine. B&T understands that the Dolphins have been issued an education and guidance letter to ensure the obligations under the Act are understood.

The latest team to join the league, the Dolphins, announced the new partnership last month. They signed on for a two-year deal that will see the company’s logo appear on the sternum of playing jerseys.

While medicinal cannabis is legal in Australia, there are still laws that prohibit the advertising of prescription drugs. Alternaleaf is being broadcast nationwide and has also reportedly been prominently featured at Dolphins home games.

“The TGA is aware of the partnership between the Dolphins and Alternaleaf and is assessing if any material published in connection with this partnership raises concerns under the advertising requirements of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act),” a statement provided to the Sydney Morning Herald read.

“Partnerships between sports teams and entities involved in the supply of medicinal cannabis are not prohibited by the Act; however, the advertising of medicinal cannabis, as prescription medicines, to the public, is prohibited”.

Dolphins CEO Terry Reader said that the deal is nothing more than a partnership with a health services clinic.  “We deal with sponsorship partnerships across multiple industries and across multiple countries that all require an awareness and knowledge of regulations and obligations, and this partnership is no different,” he said.

The partnership does not extend out to player treatment, as the World Anti-Doping Agency bans Cannabis use for professional athletes.

If found to be in breach of the laws, Alternaleaf could be banned from at-stadium advertising and have their logos removed from Dolphins jerseys and from the club’s website and social media platforms.




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