NBA players will no longer be tested for THC and will be able to invest in cannabis and hemp businesses under the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, according to a report from sports website The Athletic.
The tentative agreement reached between the league and the National Basketball Players Association was announced April 1 and still needs to be approved by the players and team governors, with details to be released after ratification.
But according to reports, cannabis testing has been removed from the league’s drug testing program. Players will also be able to promote and invest in cannabis companies for the first time.
Under the current collective bargaining agreement, punishment for cannabis use included a $25,000 fine after a second violation and a five-game suspension after a third, though the NBA in recent seasons agreed not to randomly test players for cannabis.
Several former NBA players already have growing roles in cannabis companies. Former first-round pick Al Harrington is a co-founder of Los Angeles-based Viola Brands and one of the most outspoken supporters of the industry. Hall of Famer Chris Webber is co-founder of Players Only Holdings and the Players Only brand. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Carmelo Anthony is an investor in California cannabis brand Leune, while Seattle Supersonics legend Shawn Kemp is a minority owner of a cannabis retail store in Seattle.
The NFL and Major League Baseball have also eased their cannabis policies.
The NFL’s most recent collective bargaining agreement shortened the window during which players would be tested for cannabis, raised the threshold for a positive test and stipulated that a positive test would not mean an automatic suspension. The NFL also announced a $1 million investment in research into cannabis and pain management. MLB removed cannabis from its banned substances list in 2019.
— Brian Beckley