The Las Vegas Lights are about to be lit.
No, we're not talking about the perpetually blaring neons along the strip, but rather the city's professional soccer team. After setting up shop in Sin City earlier this year as an expansion team in the United Soccer League, the Lights have now signed a sponsorship deal with a local cannabis dispensary, becoming the first American sports franchise with a legal weed endorsement.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, the Lights signed a six-figure sponsorship contract with downtown Vegas dispensary Nuwu Cannabis Marketplace. Per the deal, Nuwu will place ads around Cashman Field, where the Lights play home games, produce team-branded strains and vape cartridges, and, yes, offer free weed to the entire team.
We were going to wait till 4:20 pm, but we were just too excited 😏— Las Vegas Lights FC (@lvlightsfc) April 13, 2018
We are proud to announce our partnership with @NuwuCannabis!
The first professional sports team in the U.S. to partner with a marijuana dispensary.
ONLY. IN. VEGAS. pic.twitter.com/ItGhT7a4vn
Unlike the NFL, NBA and nearly every other American sports league, the USL does not have any mandatory drug tests for marijuana and will not fine, suspend, or ban any player for sparking up. And if Lights owner Brett Lashbrook has anything to say about it, which he does, Sin City's soccer stars will be able to get as stoned as they'd like — as long as it doesn't interfere with their performance, or course.
"Our players are adults and professional athletes living in Las Vegas," Lashbrook told the Sun. "There are a lot bigger temptations in this city and plenty of other things I'm more concerned about."
"This is the right time and the right market to do this, and we're not going to hide," Lashbrook added in an interview with ESPN. "We think this will be part of the destigmatization of this substance and business. This isn't some shady guys walking around with hoods over their heads. This shop is closer to an Apple Store."
In addition to the financial opportunities and prohibition reform optics, Lashbrook was quick to mention how beneficial medical marijuana can be for professional athletes.
As part of the agreement, the two entities will host co-sponsored community events across Las Vegas, while Lights players have signed on to do celebrity appearances at the Nuwu dispensary.
Las Vegas still hasn't passed local ordinances for social use marijuana clubs or cafes, so fans won't be able to smoke their Lights-branded flower or vape cartridges just yet. But when the time comes, Cashman Field may very well become a new canna-tourist hub in the City of Sin.
Follow Zach Harris on Twitter