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Kevin Durant Looks to De-Stigmatize Marijuana Through New Partnership

Kevin Durant has his eyes on his next venture.

The NBA player has announced his intentions to destigmatize marijuana in his new partnership and sponsorship with Weedmap, an e-commerce platform leading users to cannabis dispensaries. In addition to having new merchandise, podcasts and putting on events, Weedmaps is teaming up with a sports media network called The Boardroom, to produce a new content series.

Golden State Warriors Kevin Durant poses for a picture on the red carpet before the Breakthrough Prize ceremony at Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)

He told ESPN, “I think it’s far past time to address the stigmas around cannabis that still exist in the sports world as well as globally. This partnership is going to help us continue to normalize those conversations, as well as create content, events, and a lot more through our Boardroom media network. This is just the beginning for us.”

The day of Durant’s announcement, Aug. 19, Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals opened up about the partnership to Marijuana Moment. “Through this partnership we’ll look to further break down the stigmas that have made cannabis use, particularly among athletes, so taboo, while also providing broader education about the plant’s many wide-ranging benefits and its potential for overall wellness,” said Beals.

This is not the first time Durant has advocated for weed. Last year, he sat with former NBA players Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes on their podcast “All the Smoke,” where they vocally expressed their thoughts on the substance. Durant said, “I just think it should be taken off the banned substances list,” adding that “It’s not harmful to anybody.” He also mentioned that the “plant” shouldn’t even have to be discussed and that “the next step” is to “get people out of jail for marijuana.”

While cannabis usage has become a more popular discussion among athletes in recent years, the NBA has continued to keep it banned. However, some believe that there is hope. The league became lenient on the rules regarding marijuana last year in December and claimed it was “due to the unusual circumstances in conjunction with the pandemic.”

NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said, “we have agreed with the NBA to suspend random testing for marijuana for the 2020-21 season and focus our random testing program on performance-enhancing products and drugs of abuse.”

Details regarding financials for Durant through the sponsorship deal with Weedmaps, which became a public company in June, have not been revealed.

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