NBA superstar Kevin Durant, who helped get marijuana off the league’s banned substance list, says, “everybody” in the NBA uses weed.
During an interview with CNBC at Boardroom’s inaugural Game Plan sports business conference in Los Angeles, Durant said that he’s been advocating for marijuana to be unbanned since at least 2020 and has been investing in various cannabis-related companies.
“I actually called him and advocated for him to take marijuana off the banned substance list,” Durant said during the interview.
“I just felt like it was becoming a thing around the country, around the world, that the stigma behind it wasn’t as negative as it was before.”
When asked if he was a pioneer for marijuana in the NBA, Durant said, “Not at all. I just enjoy the plant”
When asked how he persuaded Adam Silver, Durant jokingly said, “Well he smelled it when I walked in, so I didn’t really have to say much. It’s the NBA, everybody does it, it’s like wine at this point.”
In April, the NBA and NBPA updated the league’s marijuana policy, ending testing among NBA players for the drug.
The league and the National Basketball Players Association deal removes marijuana from its banned substances list. Players will no longer be tested for it as part of a new seven-year collective bargaining agreement.
The agreement also allows players to “hold a direct or indirect ownership interest (whether controlling or non-controlling) in an entity that produces or sells CBD Products.” They are also allowed to invest in marijuana companies if the investment is passive and the player’s ownership is less than 50% of the business.
Another section of the collective bargaining agreement says that players “may participate in the promotion or endorsement of any brand, product, or service of an entity that produces or sells CBD Products, as long as the entity isn’t a marijuana company.
However, “a player may request permission from the NBA and the Players Association to promote or endorse any CBD Products that are produced or sold by a Marijuana Company.”
Such request must be in writing and include (A) a complete list of the products that the Marijuana Company produces or sells, (B) a complete list of all ingredients of such products, (C) a description of the player’s proposed promotion or endorsement activity for the Marijuana Company’s CBD Products, and (D) a detailed summary of the non-financial terms of any proposed promotion or endorsement agreement between the player and the Marijuana Company. Unless a player’s request has been approved in writing by the NBA and the Players Association, the player may not promote or endorse any CBD Products that are produced or sold by a Marijuana Company.”
Durant and his VC firm Thirty Five Ventures, recently agreed to a partnership with tech platform Weedmaps, to focus on combating misconceptions around marijuana and sports. The company will also advocate for federal legalization.
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