NBA Removing Cannabis Bans for Players
When you are a professional athlete, using cannabis isn’t an option. That is because, traditionally, all major league organizations do randomized drug testing. And if an athlete tests positive for THC or any other controlled substance, they face some serious consequences whether the player has a medical card or not.
The new seven-year collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association reached a tentative agreement on Saturday, April 1st, 2023. This comes after the MLB (Major League Baseball) announced in 2022 that it would permit players to endorse cannabidiol (CBD) products. Teams in the MLB can now sell sponsorships to reputable CBD brands.
The National Basketball League is moving to formalize something that has already been an unofficial process. For the past three years, the NBA has suspended testing players for marijuana. A move that was implemented during the Covid-19 quarantine.
But the new contract for NBA players goes beyond validating the medicinal use of cannabis for symptoms like pain and inflammation. It also opens up professional basketball players to get entrepreneurial and become spokespersons or investors in America’s growing cannabis industry.
Celebrity NBA Cannabis Brands Coming Soon?
Michele Roberts is the former head of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). In 2020, Roberts joined the board of directors at Cresco Labs, one of the largest cannabis companies in the United States. Cresco labs have approximately 350 cannabis-related products and 5,000 SKUs.
According to an article published by Marijuana Moment, Michele Roberts predicted that this would happen several years ago. Unlike other sports franchises, the NBA is more progressive. The article also mentioned that Weedmaps will be collaborating with NBA star Kevin Durant for a multiyear partnership. The campaign will focus on wellness and recovery for athletes.
One of the most interesting things about the new proposed NBA contract is how it would remove business endorsement or investment obstacles. Currently, active NBA players are not allowed to commercially endorse cannabis products. Or invest in any business associated with marijuana (recreational or medical).
When Do the New Regulations Take Effect for NBA Players?
More details will be available when the NBPA and players ratify the contract. But it is a positive step forward that will allow professional athletes more options when it comes to pain management and MMJ for other health conditions.
I am a Chief Marketing Officer at DocMJ, a leading provider of medical cannabis health services to qualified patients. I have over 20 years of experience in healthcare marketing and communications, with a proven track record of delivering impactful and compliant campaigns that educate, inform, and empower patients to make better choices for their health and wellness.