Launched by Rachael Rapinoe in August, Mendi provides a variety of different CBD products for athletes who are dealing with pain, such as vegan gummies, salve stick and vegan soft gel capsules.
The Portland, Oregon, company announced on its website this week that the World Cup star will serve as board adviser, strategic partner and athlete ambassador: “Together, we are working with Megan to build a brighter future for sports, utilizing hemp-derived recovery tools to help all athletes stay at top performance.”
In a Q-and-A on the site, Megan said she decided to join Mendi because she herself “wanted a healthier, more natural option for pain management, sleep aid, relaxation while flying, and general recovery.”
According to the site, Mendi is the first cannabis company to have ad space in pro sports. “I think there is still a lot of stigma around the use of CBD and cannabis in soccer,” Megan continued in the Q-and-A. “There needs to be greater education so athletes can make an informed decision. We are also subject to the USADA testing pool, and fear of a failed test is worrisome for many players.”
The soccer star’s sister Rachael, who herself played professional soccer, was inspired to start Mendi after enduring numerous surgeries including ACL reconstruction. At a talk this past August at TechFestNW in Portland, the Mendi founder spoke about wanting a “healthier alternative to manage pain” than the opiates she was using.
Megan Rapinoe noted on Mendi’s site that she is an advocate for equal pay and that she hopes to see women better represented in cannabis and beyond. As reported by The Story Exchange, women entrepreneurs face familiar obstacles in the high-growth industry. “The lionshare of investment is usually made by men,” she said.
She also notes that a disproportionate number of people of color have spent years in jail for cannabis possession. “We will use this company and our platform to raise awareness and fight for the legalization of CBD and cannabis everywhere,” she said.