As more US states legalize cannabis for medicinal and recreational use, many major North American professional sports leagues are adapting to the changing times.
Under the new seven-year collective bargaining agreement signed this year, NBA players will no longer be tested for cannabis. While testing was paused since the 2019 – 2020 COVID-19 season, cannabis has been removed from the league’s anti-drug testing program.
Cannabis is still a banned substance in the NFL for two reasons: First, It’s still a banned substance at the federal level, and second, it’s reportedly seen as a bargaining chip in the next CBA. The current agreement runs until 2030, and the league will likely look for corresponding concessions from the players.
Until then, while the NFL doesn’t test players between April 20 and August 9, there are still fines for positive tests and a four-game suspension for four positive tests.
While cannabis is no longer on the banned substance list and players are not tested, MLB players or team personnel who appear under the influence during games, practices, workouts, meetings, or within the scope of their employment are subject to a mandatory evaluation, which could include treatment.
While the NHL does test for cannabis, there’s no punishment for a positive test. However, if a player tests abnormally high, a player will be looked at for treatment like it’s a health matter.
While the WNBA still tests for cannabis, limited use is allowed, and fines or suspensions would only be levied with repeat offenses.
The NWSL does not test for cannabis and allows its players to have sponsorship deals with cannabis brands.
PGA Tour, LPGA
The PGA and LPGA Tours golfers are subject to random drug tests via WADA standards.
In 2019, golfer Matt Every was suspended for 12 weeks for a positive cannabis test despite being medically prescribed cannabis in Florida.
In 2021, the UFC announced that fighters who test positive for cannabis won’t be punished.
Random drug tests are conducted on NASCAR race weekends, including for cannabis.
Premier Lacrosse League
The PLL does not test for cannabis.
Featured image: Kevork Djansezian courtesy of Zuffa LLC
This article was originally published on Boardroom.
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