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Nevada State Athletic Commission Moves to Protect Athletes Who Use Cannabis

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) voted unanimously two years ago to stop penalizing professional and amateur athletes for testing positive for cannabis. The commission is now moving forward with specific language in its code to formalize that policy.

This policy change is part of a comprehensive review that all state agencies must complete per an executive order from the governor. It will be presented at a public hearing for an open conversation on April 24th.

Nevada State Athletic Commission

Under the proposed regulations, the possession, use, or consumption of cannabis or cannabis-derived products would not be deemed an anti-doping violation under NSAC Chapter 467.011 as long as such activities are acceptable with Nevada cannabis laws.

According to Nevada law, adults 21 and over can possess up to one ounce of cannabis or an eighth of concentrate and can legally consume cannabis on private property.

In July 2021, the commission announced it would no longer discipline athletes if their drug tests showed more than 150 nanograms of cannabis per milliliter of blood. This move from a 50 nanogram per milliliter limit in 2013 to the current 150 nanograms per milliliter limit allows fighters to compete without penalties for testing positive for marijuana within legal limits in Nevada.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) is one of the largest and most influential combined professional and amateur fighting athletic commissions in the United States.

By amending their rules to formally protect athletes from being penalized over using or possessing cannabis in compliance with state law, they are setting an example for other sports commissions across the country.

In addition, the proposed regulations could have a ripple effect on other states, encouraging them to follow suit and create similar policies that would protect athletes who choose to medicate with cannabis within legal limits.

The changes proposed by NSAC will be presented at a public hearing on April 24th, where stakeholders’ feedback will be considered when making any final decisions. This move towards creating an open forum for discussion between regulatory bodies and athletes is a positive step toward protecting the rights of those who choose to use cannabis lawfully.

The NSAC’s decision is a promising sign for athletes across the country. It could lead to more states amending their regulations to protect their athletes from being penalized for using or possessing cannabis in compliance with state law. With this move, Nevada has set a good example that other sports commissions may soon follow.


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