“As someone who has bilateral neuropathy, but not interested in consuming opioids, it is important to continuously advocate for the medicinal benefits of cannabis and our right as athletes to be able to utilize it,”
May 26, 2021
Elias Theodorou, MMA fighter and medical cannabis advocate, is the first professional athlete to secure a medical exemption for the use of medical cannabis in professional sport in the United States, after the same achievement in Canada in 2020. The Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) was recently granted in the State of Colorado — the result of years of advocacy and perseverance.
After being granted a TUE in Canada in 2020, Elias competed and won as a ‘cannabis athlete’ in March 2021 at the Rise Fighting Championship 6 against Matt Dwyer. He was able to medicate with cannabis for bilateral neuropathy leading up to his fight — attaining a dominant victory in conjunction with his federally-approved and doctor-prescribed medication.
“Professional sports cause a lot of challenges like injury and pain. Opioids are readily available and often encouraged to help with pain issues. As someone who has bilateral neuropathy, but not interested in consuming opioids, it is important to continuously advocate for the medicinal benefits of cannabis and our right as athletes to be able to utilize it,” details Theodorou.
“If that means me securing my TUE state by state, country by country, then I will; I will do whatever it takes to fight the stigma, and advocate for all individuals,” he defiantly ends.
Erik Magraken, Elias’ Legal Counsel, Managing Partner of MacIsaac & Company and combat sports regulator lawyer, explains: “This is a precedent that Elias is rightfully proud of. He has been fighting the stigma of cannabis in sport and cannabis as medicine for years and getting the first US Athletic Commission to recognize his medical rights in granting a TUE is a huge leap forward that can assist many other athletes.”
Elias would like to thank his legal counsel, Erik Magraken, and his doctor, Dr. Kevin Rod of the Toronto Poly Clinic for this incredible achievement, and the Colorado Commission for being honest, open-minded, hearing, reviewing and approving Elias’ case.
About Elias Theodorou
Elias, “The Spartan” Theodorou, is a top-ranked middleweight fighter who amassed an impressive 8-3 record during his time in the UFC. Elias is committed to fighting the stigma of medical cannabis in athletics. In January 2020, he became the first professional athlete to receive a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for medical cannabis, the first in combat sports or professional sports. Elias has transcended the stereotypes of a fighter by employing his advertising degree and corporate experience in the development, creation, and production of personal and corporate brands, including The Mane Event™, The Ring Boy™ and Weedbae™ When Elias is not busy training or competing, he’s working on several films and various TV projects. Elias is committed to using his growing platform to expand his reach beyond MMA and to fight for acceptance of medical cannabis in professional sports.
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