Kevin Durant indicators multi-year contract with Weedmaps to counter hashish stereotypes

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“Now, more than ever, there are more opportunities for the cannabis industry to grow and remove any remaining stigma surrounding its use.”

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Sam Riches FILE: Kevin Durant of Team United States poses for photos with his gold medal during the men's basketball medal ceremony on the fifteenth day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on August 07, 2021 in Saitama, Japan.  / FILE: Kevin Durant of Team United States poses for photos with his gold medal during the men’s basketball medal ceremony on the fifteenth day of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on August 07, 2021 in Saitama, Japan. / Photo by Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

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Arguably the best basketball player in the world, Kevin Durant has signed a multi-year contract with Weedmaps, an online cannabis platform, to counter negative stereotypes about cannabis use and promote the plant’s potential for the wellbeing and recreation of athletes.

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“Now, more than ever, there are so many growth opportunities in the cannabis industry as well as the removal of any remaining stigmatization around use,” Durant said in a press release.

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The agreement includes a sponsorship deal with Boardroom, a sports business media network founded by Kevin Durant and entrepreneur Rich Kleiman. Durant and Kleiman are the co-founders of Thirty Five Ventures, an investment portfolio of more than 70 companies, including Boardroom.

As part of the agreement, Weedmaps will become the official sponsor of Boardroom, including sponsoring the Out of Office podcast and working on original content with the brand.

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Chris Beals, CEO of Weedmaps, called the deal “a critical step forward in our ongoing efforts to reduce the stigma of cannabis, especially in the sports industry.”

“As the largest technology provider in the industry, we take our responsibility seriously to lead the national discussion about cannabis and the need to update cannabis regulations across the board,” said Beals.

Like most professional sports leagues, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has reformed its approach to cannabis in recent years. When the league resumed play in the 2020 season after a month-long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, it stopped testing players for recreational drugs, including cannabis. This practice continued over the past season.

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However, no formal guidelines regarding cannabis have been put in place, and Toronto Raptors’ guard Jalen Harris was sentenced to a one-year ban last month for violating the league’s anti-drug policy.

The last NBA player to be banned for cannabis use in 2018 was Thabo Sefolosha.

“I will not wear this as a badge of honor,” Sefolosha recently told ESPN. “I fought internally to change the rules. It’s something that should have been addressed a long time ago. I understand the league doesn’t want to promote it. I’m not someone who promotes marijuana, and I wouldn’t encourage my kids to do that either. I don’t want to send the wrong message. But it’s a happy substitute for harder drugs that the team doctor might even give you, and alcohol, and I had to learn that myself. “

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A number of current and past NBA players have signed contracts with cannabis companies or started their own canna companies in recent years. Al Harrington, who played 16 seasons in the NBA, has become one of the leading voices in cannabis reform in the NBA and professional sports.

His cannabis company Viola operates in California, Michigan, Colorado, and Oregon, and plans to expand into Canada as well. Harrington has been vocal in advocating for a more equitable cannabis industry and support for more black-owned businesses, including meetings with politicians and lawmakers, as more U.S. states legalize cannabis.

“I’m just trying to figure out how they plan to roll out the medical program and the adult program to get a better understanding of what the options are and how my company can help with the process, especially when they talk about diversity and social Justice, ”Harrington told The GrowthOp last year after meeting with lawmakers from the New York State Legislature.

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