One of a Kind: Megan Rapinoe

One of a Kind: Megan Rapinoe
What makes her great: Rapinoe, a star midfielder for the U.S. women's soccer team, won a US$24-million settlement with U.S. soccer over equal pay dispute. Describing the settlement, six years in the making, Rapinoe said: "We're going to look back on this moment and just think, Wow, what an incredible turning point in the history of U.S. soccer that changed the game and, really, changed the world."
What she represents: Mendi, a CBD brand, focuses on pain relief, inflammation, and “neuro balance,” which includes anxiety and sleeplessness. Data-driven and research-based, Mendi is a trustworthy destination in a burgeoning, sometimes confusing, field. Megan Rapinoe, who went toe-to-toe with Donald Trump and is amongst the most outspoken athletes in the world, fights for equal rights and advocates for CBD.
What she stands for: “I think it's sometimes so difficult to talk about and to articulate the kind of discrimination, abuse, inequality and disrespect that so many women feel so often in their job," Rapinoe told the Associated Press. "We're able to put a voice to that."
Last year, KIND editor Ben Kaplan caught up with Rachel Rapinoe, Megan's sister, to get a better sense of her company, and her values, from her Portland home. This helps put the historic Rapinoe sisters in context.
  • BK: I’m a huge sports fan, and your sister is one of my favourite athletes. When she scored her goals against France in the World Cup, I hung her picture on our corkboard for my daughter. It’s refreshing to see her advocate for CBD.

    RR: I started using cannabis because of Megan and the athletes she was hanging out with. That spawned my interest in cannabis as a recovery tool. I had only seen people using cannabis as “stoner culture” as fun and at parties, but she used it for recovery. She didn’t want to put other pills in her body.

  • BK: Does Megan smoke weed?

    RR: She used to a little bit, but she doesn’t smoke at all. It’s gummies, gel caps, and tinctures—healthier ways to ingest.

  • BK: Do you see Mendi making all sorts of other products?

    RR: We won’t ever have vapes or anything like that, but back to Megan, you know, she was stoked about our company. She had been using Mendi for a while, and other CBD brands were wanting to sign her, but it was a no-brainer to go with us. She’s not cheap.

  • BK: That’s cold. Your sister is negotiating you hard.

    RR: She’s an endorsed athlete. We pay her for sure, and both Meg and Sue Bird have equity in the company. We want them to have skin in the game, and we lucked out to come to market with Megan. It’s given us a ton of traction.

  • BK: I feel like the moment is right for a company—whether it’s CBD, cannabis, or even our magazine—to stand for something like Megan has and like you do. You sort of have to in 2020, or else you’re almost complicit in the racist, misogynistic system.

    RR: I had the inside scoop on how athletes work hard to build their brand, and more athletes every day are being very selective about who they align with. With so much inequity in female sports, they’re using their platform beyond just the product pitch. That’s why we came to market during the World Cup with Meg and Sue, and with Nneka, who’s about disrupting the status quo of sports ownership, now more than ever, there’s a massive appetite for standing up for the right things.

  • BK: And for you guys, what is it?

    RR: Levelling the playing field. When we looked into the market, it was the perfect opportunity not only to tout cannabis and its benefits but to champion, these athletes—whether gay or Black or Indigenous or Trans—this is the time for representation and to truly celebrate and amplify their voices.

  • BK: Take us out of here with a look into your crystal ball. Do you see America legalizing cannabis anytime soon?

    RR: With a new president in office, and a new speaker of the house, and hopefully that will happen very soon, I think legalization can happen quickly. I’d like to reimagine a whole new world.

"One of a Kind" is a new series dedicated to philanthropy, innovation and social justice leaders making our cannabis industry grow. If you’d like to nominate someone, please send an email to Much love.