The National Basketball Association, as well as its players’ association, has officially come to terms on an agreement that brings significant changes to the league’s approach toward cannabis. In a comprehensive document spanning 676 pages, various provisions related to cannabis have been outlined, with the major change being the deletion of marijuana from the organization’s list of banned drugs for players.
One key aspect of the new agreement is that players are now allowed to invest in and promote cannabis brands, but with specific conditions. Players can hold an ownership interest, either directly or indirectly, in entities involved in producing or selling CBD products, provided that the THC content in the cannabis does not exceed 0.3% dry weight. Additionally, players are permitted to invest in cannabis firms, as long as their ownership is passive while also being below 50%.
Promotional activities by players are also addressed in the agreement. Players can endorse CBD products from entities that don’t fall under the category of cannabis companies. However, if a player wishes to endorse cannabidiol (CBD) products from a marijuana entity, they must seek permission from both the NBA as well as the association bringing together all the players.
Permission may be withheld if the cannabidiol products are marketed through a brand which also includes cannabis products. If the endorsement could cause confusion with cannabis-related items, permission could also be denied.
The collective bargaining agreement establishes sanctions for players found guilty of driving while intoxicated by alcohol or any controlled substance, as well as for those involved in felonies related to cannabis distribution. The use of cannabis or its products by players is treated similarly to alcohol, and teams are allowed to refer players to the medical director for mandatory evaluations if they have reasonable cause to suspect substance use or dependency issues.
The agreement also acknowledges the potential dangers of synthetic cannabinoids such as delta-8 THC and provides a voluntary treatment option for players seeking help in such cases. While voluntary entry into the program incurs no penalties, noncompliance after enrolling could lead to fines and possible suspensions.
By formally eliminating cannabis from the list of banned substances, the NBA ratifies its decision to suspend cannabis testing for the past three seasons.
This move was praised by well-known personalities, such as Snoop Dogg, an iconic figure in the cannabis community and a commentator for the NBA. Snoop Dogg commended the league’s decision, recognizing the benefits of cannabis for medical purposes and as an alternative to opioids.
Michele Roberts, a former head of the NBPA and a board member of Cresco Labs, a major cannabis company, had previously anticipated that the league would eventually adopt a formal policy change to support cannabis use, which has now become a reality with the signing of the new collective bargaining agreement.
It isn’t surprising that the NBA is making these adjustments to its rules. It has been known that numerous enterprises such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are making headway in commercializing FDA-approved treatments based on cannabis constituents including THC, so the NBA can no longer deny the therapeutic potential of cannabis.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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