FOXBOROUGH — CBD is coming to Gillette Stadium – not in it, but just outside.

Retired-for-now Patriots legend Rob Gronkowski’s new role as a cannabidiol spokesperson will bring Gronkowski’s smiling face and the leaf logo of the CBDMEDIC line he’s promoting to the water tower that hovers over Gillette Stadium, as well as on billboards just outside and on the facade.

NFL rules prohibit active players from using CBD products, and CBD signage is prohibited within the stadium. Considering the product he endorses contains no THC — the chemical in cannabis that will get you high — Gronkowski hopes that his new deal means forward progress for a substance he believes can work wonders on the pain-relief front.


“I believe that because we’re here, partnering up with Gillette Stadium, that’s making the right steps right there. That’s taking step by step to where we need to go to to get this legalized,” said Gronkowski during a promotional event in a suite overlooking the field of play. “To tell you the truth, I’m not really sure why it’s banned. I think it’s just because the times haven’t caught up.”

The partnership is between CBDMEDIC, Gillette Stadium and Patriot Place, but not with the Patriots or owner Robert Kraft. But Gronkowski has Kraft in his corner.

This sign was placed on the exterior of Gillette Stadium.
This sign was placed on the exterior of Gillette Stadium.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

“I definitely believe that I have the support of Mr. Kraft big-time, and I’m very appreciative of that support from Mr. Kraft and his team,” said Gronkowski. “I’ve talked to him about it, and it was just a special conversation actually about it and how special it is to bring this partnership here to where it all started, to where I started about 10 years ago.”

Gronkowski believes progress is being made on getting CBD products OK’d by the NFL.

“I haven’t talked to [the NFL Players Association] about it, but I heard from representatives I ran into. I brought that up, I said ‘What about CBD?’ ” said Gronkowski. “They said, yes, they are talking about, yes, they are working on it, and yes, I’m pretty sure, I’m pretty accurate that there will be a change in the future.”


Abacus CEO Perry Antelman said the deal with an NFL stadium and retail property surrounding it marks a first for any CBD company in the country.

“This is up to the NFL, when they will change,” said Antelman. “I know they are working and studying alternative methods and alternative medications to help the athletes, they’re always working to help athletes and help them with safety. We hear it is coming around, whether that’s six months, nine months, 12 months, or 18 months, we don’t know yet. But when it does come around, we’re hoping we’ll be one of the first to be in the stadium, and from the outside to go inside.”

Abacus CEO Perry Antelman.
Abacus CEO Perry Antelman. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

When it comes to nearly non-stop questions about whether or not he will return to the NFL, Gronkowski said “I am at peace, man.

“I don’t want to be banned from playing the sport I love because I’m using a product that I can buy, or anyone can buy, at their local pharmacy right off the shelf,” said Gronkowski. “I also want to have the option to get back into the game. And if I’m banned next year, I can’t, you know? You all want to see me out there, don’t you, baby? I know you do.”


Michael Silverman can be reached at michael.silverman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeSilvermanBB