Hamilton Accies' stadium to be named after cannabis oil firm
A stadium will be named after a cannabis oil firm in a controversial deal with an SPFL club.
Hamilton Academical FC’s New Douglas Park will be rebranded as the Hope CBD Stadium starting this season.
The naming rights sponsorship deal comes just months after the club lost nearly £1 million in a bank scam.
An agreement with past stadium sponsor SuperSeal had collapsed, forcing Hamilton Accies to search for a replacement.
The new agreement will be worth a five-figure sum to the club every season.
Hamilton Accies will also receive a percentage share of the profits from the sale of cannabis-based products.
Critics have rounded on the club over the perceived promotion of cannabis through the deal.
Chief executive Colin McGowan told STV: “Will there be people out there saying ‘Hamilton Accies are supporting a drug, it’s unbelievable...’?
“Yes, you are going to get that. If you get criticism in football, just do anything.”
As well as his role with the football club, Mr McGowan is also the owner and director of Hope CBD.
The firm sells legal products, including tea, ointments and sweets that contain cannabidiol (CBD) – a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
Hope CBD has run a small shop at New Douglas since last year.
The UK Government ruled yesterday that doctors would be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis for the first time.
The move follows a number of high profile cases including that of Alfie Dingley, Billy Caldwell and young epilepsy sufferer Murray Gray from Edinburgh, whose mother Karen ran an impassioned campaign to have the drug legalised for medicinal use.
Supporters of CBD claim the substance can alleviate pain and seizures.
Hamilton Accies have pointed out that was “no high” to be gained from using CBD.
“I think sometimes when people hear the word ‘cannabis’, they think of law-breaking or addiction,” Mr McGowan said.
“If there was anything of an addictive nature in it, we’d be a hundred miles away from it.”
Glasgow Centre of Substance Use Research director, Professor Neil McKegane, labelled the renaming of New Douglas Park as a “regrettable step”.
“In the public mindset, it will be seen as a form of cannabis advertising,” he said.