Last week, the National Basketball Association (NBA) clarified its new cannabis policy for players, confirming previous reports that the league will no longer test players for THC. But the NBA has also refuted leaks about its new collective bargaining with the players union that said league players would be allowed to promote licensed marijuana companies. The new agreement between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association also allows players to invest in cannabis companies, although they will not be allowed to take an active role in the management of the cannabis companies.
Last month, the online sports news site the athlete mentioned that The National Basketball Association will end its total ban on cannabis to players, citing sources familiar with the negotiations. According to the report, the league will stop testing players for cannabis, which will be removed from the league’s list of banned substances. The new contract, which was agreed by negotiators for the league and the players union in late March, will also reportedly allow players to invest in and promote regulated cannabis companies.
The league and players association announced on April 26 that they had ratified the new contract agreement, which will take effect on July 1 for the 2023-24 season and run through the 2029-30 season. But according to the agreement’s “Major Dealing Points” document first reported spigotsThe deal does not include provisions to allow players to actively invest in or promote cannabis companies. A source familiar with the deal told the online news source that under the agreement, players will be barred from putting their names on their cannabis brands. However, players will be allowed to promote brands that offer hemp-derived CBD products. The summary of the business agreement states that although players “may promote a company that manufactures products containing CBD,” they will “continue to be prohibited from promoting marijuana companies,” According to a report.
Jesse Burns, Chief Marketing Officer, PR firm Grasslands, He says that the new rules could make NBA athletes the face of the CBD movement, adding that players have a chance to “really capitalize on this moment of health and wellness” by launching their own CBD brands.
“There is general knowledge that CBD is a drug, pain reliever, and inflammation reducer,” Burns said. “The general public is starting to get the hang of it.”
Cannabis has been removed from the NBA’s list of prohibited substances
The summary confirms previous reports that the NBA will end its ban on cannabis use, stating that “marijuana will be removed from its list of prohibited substances.” However, the memo explains, “A team that has reason to believe that one of its players is under the influence of marijuana while participating in NBA or team-related activities, or has a marijuana-related dependency problem, may refer the player to a treatment program.”
In addition, players who ingest a high amount of marijuana while at games, practices, or other official team functions are subject to disciplinary action. “The NBA and teams may impose reasonable discipline on players under the influence while they are engaged in any team activity or in violation of the law,” the memo reads.
Previous NBA policy on cannabis included a ban on marijuana use by all league players. Policy violations were remedied by entering players into the league’s counseling and treatment program on the first offense. Subsequent violations resulted in a $25,000 fine for the second violation and a five-game suspension without pay for the third.
The league suspended player testing for cannabis as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in late 2020, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the moratorium would likely become permanent. Silver added that instead of a mandatory testing program for all players, the league would approach players who appear to have problematic or dependency cannabis use and refuse to sanction players who are “casual marijuana users.”
Professional sports and cannabis
The NBA’s end to its ban on cannabis for players follows similar actions by the major American professional sports leagues. in 2019, Major League Baseball MLB has removed cannabis from its list of prohibited substances, though current policy allows players to be disciplined if they appear to be under the influence of cannabis during games, practices, or team meetings.
MLB’s cannabis policy evolved further last year when the league announced it would allow teams to enter into sponsorship deals with cannabis companies. Four months later, the league announced that Colorado-based Web Holdings products had been named “MLB’s Official CBD.”
the National Hockey League The NHL also does not list cannabis as a banned substance and players who test positive for the drug do not face disciplinary action. Players with “abnormally” high levels of THC detected during testing are referred to a voluntary treatment program.
the National Football League The NFL collective bargaining agreement for the 2020-21 season relaxed the league’s policy on cannabis, allowing players to use marijuana during the off-season while maintaining the ban throughout the playing season. The agreement also increased the level of THC that could be present in a player’s drug test prior to sanctioning by the league and ended game suspensions for all positive drug tests, with players facing fines instead.