Report: Cannabis Removed from NBA Drug Testing Protocols

The NBA has permanently ended the practice of drug testing players for cannabis use, per a tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement with league players.

Full story after the jump.

Cannabis has been removed from the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) drug testing program under a tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), according to a report from The Athletic. The CBA still needs to be ratified by players and team governors before being finalized. 

Cannabis testing for NBA players has been suspended for the past three seasons but the proposed CBA permanently removes cannabis from the league’s testing protocols.

The news was first reported by The Athletic reporter Shams Charania on April 1. 

“Sources: NBA players will no longer be prohibited for marijuana under the new seven-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. It’s been removed from the anti-drug testing program, a process that began during 2019-20 season.” — Charania via Twitter 

Of the 30 NBA teams, 15 are based in locals where cannabis is legal for adult use – including the Canada-based Toronto Raptors and the Washington D.C-based Wizards. The remaining teams are based in states that have legalized cannabis for medical use.   

In a statement posted to Twitter, the NBA Players Association – the players’ union – announced they had reached a CBA deal on April 1 but that “Specific details will be made available once a term sheet is finalized.” 

Last March, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that players are allowed to use cannabis during off-hours but that they could not show up to team workouts or events under the influence and they could not invest in cannabis companies. While the National Hockey League (NHL) does test for cannabis, there is no punishment for a positive test. Once the NBA’s CBA is finalized, the National Football League (NFL) will be the only major U.S. sports league to test and penalize players for cannabis use.  

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