Sports Cannabis News

A Green Future for Professional Basketball

In the latest CBA, the NBA and the NBPA have agreed to a green inclusive future for professional basketball athletes.

In the latest CBA, the NBA and the NBPA have agreed to a green inclusive future for professional basketball athletes.  In the latest proposal, the National Basketball Association will not penalize players for cannabis consumption in the new seven-year collective bargaining agreement, removing it entirely from the anti-drug testing program.  

The first domino fell in 2020 when the National Basketball Association opted to pass on Cannabis testing during the season.  With many retired and active athletes cultivating meaningful brands as well as advocating for natural plant-based modalities, the NBA has taken a huge step forward which will hopefully spark a ripple effect amongst other professional sports leagues.

Retired and Active NBA Athletes Changing the Game and Pushing Sports Cannabis Forward;

Al Harrington

In late 2022, retired NBA legend turned cannabis entrepreneur led the charge for athletes on and off the court announcing the NBPA as the official partner of Re+PLay.  Al Harrington, renowned trainer Joe Abunasser and Dr. Sanford Kunkle founded Re+Play, a performance-based recovery brand.  Partnering with the NBPA is a pivotal moment for athletes across the globe as the plant continues to gain acceptance throughout sporting leagues.  The first product released from the partnership with the NBPA will be a proprietary formulated recovery cream developed in partnership with Avicanna, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of plant-derived cannabinoid-based products.

“We’ve been working together on it for years and really appreciate the players association and all the support they’ve given me.  It started with Michele A Roberts, and then was passed on to the new director, Tamika L Tremaglio and her team.  They have been incredibly supportive, open-minded and really wanted to help me figure this out and they have.  Between checking all the boxes, doing due diligence and being patient with me, they’ve been incredible.  Going forward, the sky’s the limit.  It’s a good thing the NBPA is the first to allow this to happen.  It will open doors for players to now have access to CBD and eventually THC products.  This is a monumental step forward, not just for my brand but for the entire sports world.  We’re really excited about getting products into the player’s hands and seeing the results because at the end of the day I know none of their bodies are feeling worse than mine… So, if the creams and topicals work for me, I think it has a good chance to help those guys as well…”

-A Harrington/SC Interviews

Dwayne Wade

In late 2021, retired NBA Champion, D Wade splashed into the cannabis industry with a three-peat.  Global icon Dwyane Wade is a three time NBA champion and has continued his run of success off the court, partnering with Jeeter on a unique line of strains.  Hitting nothing but net, Wade made a splash with three cannabis strains, releasing the line in a book format as an homage to his memoirs. 

During an IGLive Event, D Wade chatted about his partnership with Jeeter and his line “Game Over”;

“I’ve got a poem called Game Over. Everyone gets a chance to check that out. That’s one of the names of the flowers. The next one that I really, really love, this is one of my favorite flavors, Fruit Punch. So I want this to taste fruity, but also to give you what you need.”

-D Wade

Allen Iverson

Retired NBA Pro, Cannabis advocate and entrepreneur Al Harrington changed the game, adding Allen Iverson to the Viola Brand Roster in a multi year Partnership.

Considered by many to be one of the Greatest Point Guards of All Time, retired NBA Legend Allen Iverson, is the latest athlete to join the cannabis industry, sharing the news on his Instagram;

“Happy to be joining my brother Al Harrington and the whole Viola Family.  Ready to Change the Game!!”

-A Iverson

Allen Iverson a.k.a. “The Answer” played 14 seasons in the NBA with career highlights that include, 11-time NBA All-Star appearances, 2x All-Star Game MVPs in ’01 & ’05, recipient of the NBA’s MVP award in 2001 and in 2016 was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  Known for disrupting and changing NBA culture, it’s fitting that Allen Iverson joins the Cannabis Industry in an effort to break the stigma, change perception and normalize the cannabis conversation.

Iverson’s interest was ultimately pushed when he joined Al Harrington at Viola’s 18,000 sq/ft grow earlier this year to better understand the process, product and people behind the brand.  In recent years Viola has created premium products as well as timely initiatives targeted at social justice and equitable offerings, pushing to expand industry diversity, facilitate community building and provide employment opportunities.  With a commitment to increasing minority participation, ownership and education, Allen Iverson has decided to team up with Viola Brand in a multi-year Partnership.

“I’ve had a lot of people approach me with business opportunities, but this one with Al was different.  After seeing how devoted he is to this business, and him educating me on how beneficial the plant is, it just felt right. I’m excited to be a part of it. Together, we’re about to change the game.”

-A Iverson

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony is an active player with the Los Angeles Lakers, and is a 10x NBA All-Star, 2x All-NBA Second Team, 4x All-NBA Third Team, recipient of the NBA Social Justice Champion Award, NBA Scoring Champion Award in 2013, NBA All-Rookie First Team, named to the 75th Anniversary Team.

Carmelo and John Wall joined athletes around the world betting on cannabis, backing cannabis company LEUNE.  In early April 2021 they connected to invest in California-based LEUNE.  Since the launch in 2018, LEUNE has focused on social justice initiatives, partnering with the Last Prisoner Project to tackle criminal justice reform and social equity issues.

Gary Payton

In late June of 2021, Gage Growth announced a partnership to bring  COOKIES into Canada. The COOKIES product line will be available in Ontario through the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS), before expanding to other provinces. 

COOKIES began with two visionary founders, growth expert Jai and cannabis advocate, entrepreneur Berner. From their earliest days in a San Francisco garage to the rise in global growth, the COOKIES Brand has remained authentic and true to their roots.

“For the past decade, I’ve put taste and experience first.  I’m thrilled to work with Gage, a company that is just as passionate about our brand as we are, to provide Canadian consumers with some of the best flower and cannabis products available in the world. It feels good to be in a position to diversify the current flavor profile on the Canadian market, with a planned flagship store in Toronto, I think the Canadian connoisseur will be proud to have COOKIES. NOYA already has our standards dialed in as far as cultivation goes, so this should make a smooth and powerful introduction to the COOKIES brand in Canada.”

-G Payton

The Gage Growth Corp. focuses on providing the highest quality cannabis experience to consumers in the State of Michigan and Canada. In recent years, the Canadian sports landscape has been dominated by the Toronto Raptors and in fitting fashion, the COOKIES Brand will kick off its launch with the Gary Payton line, announcing via Instagram;

“We had to start the Cookies line-up with the best of the best. So, to properly introduce Ontario to the world of Cookies, we’re kicking things off with the people’s champ – Gary Payton”

-Cookies Canada

Kevin Durant

Prolific NBA icon Kevin Durant made waves across the world, announcing a collaborative content partnership with Weedmaps. Kevin Durant’s VC firm Thirty Five Ventures and Weedmaps are coming together to advocate for Cannabis and Sports as well as normalize the conversation through meaningful content initiatives.

Kevin Durant is a Professional NBA athlete with highlights that include; twelve-time NBA All-Star honors, two NBA championships, a NBA Most Valuable Player Award, Two Finals MVP Awards, Two All-Star game MVP Awards, four NBA scoring titles, the NBA rookie of the year award and has amassed Two Gold Medals.

With Cannabis coming to the forefront and leagues adopting new policies, athletes like Kevin Durant are betting big on Cannabis.  Considered by many to be one of the best NBA players, Kevin Durant is winning off the court as an entrepreneur and investor with an eye for tech and emerging industries.

Mid August, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman were joined by Chris Beals on the Out Of Office Podcast to announce their partnership with Weedmaps, discuss the sponsorship agreement with Kevin’s Boardroom and share a glimpse of what’s to come in 2022.

“We talked about this, wanting to get into this space, like you (Rich Kleiman) said a few months back and to actually see it come full circle now and this conversation around cannabis, we always had every day. You know, just as friends and for us to, you know, actually try to tell stories around it and seeing the parallels with the sports world.  It’s been incredible just to work through the deal, but now to have it signed, sealed. It’s exciting.”

-K Durant

Kevin Durant made headlines again in 2022, dropping cannabis dimes on David Letterman’s Netflix special. Looking to normalize the conversation, Kevin Durant spoke openly with David Letterman about cannabis and how it affects him

“To me it clears the distractions out of your brain a little bit, settles you down, it’s like having a glass of wine… We partnered with Weedmaps on content, and to try to figure out ways to change the narrative around athletes and marijuana.”adding, “It’s confusing to a lot of people, you can look around this city, there’s going to be dispensaries everywhere , where you can actually go buy weed.  It’s even crazier that you got people in jail for 20  years for selling a pound…”

-K Durant

Klay Thompson

In early 2022, NBA Champion and All-Star Klay Thompson became the first active NBA athlete to back a CBD brand. Klay’s career highlights include; being selected to the NBA All-Rookie Team, NBA Three Point Comp Champion, NBA all Defensive Team, 2x All-NBA Third Team, 5x NBA All-Star and a Three-time NBA Champion with the GSW.

Klay has dealt with his fair share of injuries and is advocating for CBD and a clean, healthy lifestyle.  He’s partnered with other elite athletes to create a unique product line “Just Live” which caters to fitness enthusiasts and athletes of all levels looking for natural, clean alternatives.

“Whether it’s winding down after a game, working through muscle pain, or recovering from an injury, CBD is a natural one-stop-shop that allows me to prioritize my physical and mental health.”

-K Thompson

Pushing the boundaries off the court, Klay recently joined “Undisputed” to chat about the societal stigmas and social justice issues that exist, in an effort to normalize the sports cannabis conversation;

“The stigma behind [CBD] has always been it’s a drug or something you are smoking. But it comes in so many forms. The NBA is pretty progressive, as it’s shown over the summer with social justice and in other aspects. The NBA is leading by example by being progressive-minded. It’s great for sport.  There are so many natural properties. It doesn’t have to be smoked. It can be applied as cream or used as pills, and it has hot-cold remedies such as lotion. It’s a natural way of healing.”

-K Thompson

Matt Barnes

Retired NBA legend, Cannabis Advocate, Podcaster and Megastar Matt Barnes is making headlines again within the cannabis industry, launching Eaze Social Equity Cannabis Business Incubator Nationally.

Matt Barnes is set to join Eaze as a Sr. Advisor to its board of directors and management, to help with policy, social impact and industry relations.

“I’m here to support real, tangible gains for Black and Brown entrepreneurs nationally through Eaze’s groundbreaking equity programs. There’s opportunity in growing infrastructures that lasts. It’s about understanding the market and the audience and building sustainable success. That’s the goal of Momentum. I want to help build it because it’s the right thing to do, but it’s also the smart thing to do.”

-M Barnes

Matt Barnes has been an integral contributor to the Cannabis Industry with a huge platform that will provide an opportunity to connect and directly impact his community.

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