The United States’ pro sports leagues have been notoriously strict when it comes to cannabis use by athletes. But recent developments suggest that attitudes are shifting.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is reportedly set to allow players to invest in cannabis companies, as part of its new seven-year collective bargaining agreement.
The agreement, reached last weekend with the National Basketball Player Association (NBPA), is expected to remove drug testing requirements for marijuana. The news was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. Who noted the inclusion of the cannabis investment policy.
Game changer: The league’s new collective bargaining agreement will give players the ability to invest in NBA and WNBA teams, as well as promote and/or invest in sports betting and cannabis companies, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium
The NBPA has not provided any further information on the agreement. Stating on Twitter that details will be shared once a term sheet is finalized.
That being said, the decision comes after years of pressure from athletes and advocates. Who have long pointed out the therapeutic benefits of cannabis use for athletes. Particularly those dealing with pain and anxiety related to injuries.
While other leagues have allowed CBD sponsorships, the NBA’s policy appears to be more progressive. The league suspended cannabis testing in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. And has decided not to reinstate the tests for the upcoming season.
Instead, the league will reach out to players who exhibit signs of problematic dependency. The new policy is part of a tentative agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, pending ratification by players and team governors.
By allowing players to promote and invest in cannabis companies, pro sports leagues are opening up a new market for the cannabis industry. This move could lead to increased investment and growth opportunities.
However, it’s important to note that cannabis use is still illegal under federal law in the United States. Meaning players who use cannabis could still face legal consequences outside of the league.