Photo courtesy of NBA
It’s a known fact that countless NBA stars adore marijuana for various reasons; we even saw Chris Webber open his cannabis dispensary, lounge, and training program earlier this month. The newest NBA star in the cannabis industry is Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, who is now CEO of One World Pharma, a U.S.-based company that grows hemp and cannabis in Colombia.
Thomas is currently replacing retired CEO and founder Craig Ellins; it’s also said that Thomas will act as vice-chair of the board of directors. The Vegas-based company holds a 30-acre regional cultivation facility in Popayán, Colombia, an educational facility for indigenous farmers. One World Pharma allegedly spent two years forming relationships with indigenous farmers in Popayán. They’ve created exclusive agreements to cultivate its genetics and return the biomass after the plants have matured.
This isn’t Thomas’ first leap into the cannabis industry; he’s also partner and owner of the Colorado and Oklahoma-based brand Vesl Oils. It seems as though every day, there’s a new NBA star making his way into the evolving cannabis industry, and we can’t help but think that the NBA’s policy change to refrain from mandatory marijuana testing has something to do with it.
Now that NBA players won’t have to face mandatory screening for marijuana (unless they show signs of addiction and abuse), many athletes are looking to take advantage of this by leaping into the cannabis industry. Whether they want to help destigmatize cannabis, secure jobs for those in low-income areas or celebrate the benefits that the plant has to offer; there’s no better time for celebrities to get their name behind brands that will help push the industry forward into a safe, educational, and helpful space.
Even successful coaches like Steve Kerr have an open mind when examining the benefits of cannabis after he admitted to trying to plant when recovering from his back surgery in 2016. Another prime example of this is Cliff Robinson’s perspective on marijuana’s medicinal value; he prefers to opt for a hemp-derived alternative rather than a pharmaceutical aid.
This doesn’t just go for NBA stars and coaches, but numerous professional athletes have also found cannabis useful when healing from injuries, relieving pain, and reducing stress/anxiety. One athlete that stood out was professional mixed martial artist Nick Diaz who helped pave the way for the UFC’s recent cannabis ban removal. We should expect to see many pro-cannabis moves in the near future as we continue to shine a light on the plant’s benefits.
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