The Denver Nuggets are tearing through the NBA playoffs thanks to the efforts of Jamal Murray and 2x MVP Nikola Jokic. Meanwhile, a Denver cannabis enthusiast and Nuggets fan is working on two new cannabis cultivars that will get folks as elevated as the Nuggets are in the NBA finals.
The cultivars will have names that pay homage to two players, MVP Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. These special genetics are being bred to perfection by horticulturist and co-founder of Colorado’s Cherry Cannabis, Jason MacLean. Upon completion, these new varieties of cannabis seeds will be available for commercial and home growers through MacLean’s seed company, CooolBeans.
The New Beans to Be
Bringing together Gary Payton and a favorite in the Cherry cannabis lineup, Bernie HannaButter, one of the new strains will be named The Joker, which pays homage to two-time MVP Nikola Jokic. The second strain mixes the genetics of Quicksand and Dank Dough to create what is known as Blue Arrow, which is a tribute to Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray.
According to an interview with Westword, this is something that MacLean takes very seriously. Jokingly, he confessed to telling his wife prior to the playoffs that his priorities the next couple of months were “going to be the Nuggets, and then her and my son.” This is the first time the team has made its way to the NBA finals in the history of the sports franchise. Being a long-time fan and having a passion for both fire cannabis and blazing NBA teams, it simply seemed like the perfect time to combine the two!
While MacLean isn’t naming the genetic lines after the players directly, nor will he be using the players’ likeness or their names in marketing, he does hope to gain the attention of the team, and in particular, these two players.
Jason MacLean isn’t new to cannabis cultivation and genetic breading. He has been immersed within the cannabis community in Denver for over 15 years, working as a horticulturist and cultivator. He also led the Cherry partnership with hip-hop artist N.O.R.E. to create the Cherry strain known as Super Thug. Additionally, his accolades include a long-running relationship with the one and only Willie’s Reserve. And he also led the efforts that granted Cherry the Best Wholesale Cultivation award in the 2021 Best of Denver awards.
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Could Jokic or Murray One Day Enjoy These Strains?
Thanks to a change in policy, should these NBA players decide to partake in a toke of one of these strains in the future, it may not come with the risk of losing their contracts, careers, or any other penalty for that matter. This would be thanks to the Collective Bargaining Act between the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and the NBA.
If ratified as it is expected to be, the new CBA will take effect in the 2023-2024 season and remain in place until at least 2029. This new agreement would not only allow NBA players to utilize cannabis without fear of failed drug screenings but also allow them to invest in and receive sponsorships from legally operating cannabis brands.
Aside from the NBA, the MLB and NHL have also removed cannabis from their drug testing rosters or removed penalties for testing positive for THC. Under the current CBA, which was enacted in 2017, the penalties for testing positive for marijuana are extensive:
- For the first violation, players are required to enter the Marijuana Program for treatment and/or counseling.
- With a second violation, players face a $25,000 fine and in-patient or aftercare treatment in the Marijuana Program.
- Three violations will result in a five-game suspension in addition to treatment under the Marijuana Program.
- Subsequent violations are punishable by an additional 5-game suspension beyond those retracted for the 3rd violation, and players are required to receive treatment under the Marijuana Program.
NBA Players and Other League Allstars Show Cannabis Support
This change in policy is incredible news as more active and retired players, not just from the NBA but also within all other major sports organizations, including the NFL, NHL, and MLB, have become outspoken regarding their support of and use of cannabis, especially for sport-related medical ailments.
16-year NBA veteran Al Harrington once told GQ Sports that he estimates “85 percent of the players in the NBA” consumed cannabis. After leaving the court, Al became a cannabis entrepreneur and founded the Viola cannabis extracts company after being inspired by how the plant helped his grandmother with glaucoma, stating that it allowed her to read the bible for the first time in years. Fox Business reports that “Former Chicago Bulls guard and three-time Duke All-American Jay Williams” also once estimated that roughly 70-80% of NBA players utilize cannabis.
Naming strains after athletes, political figures, and cannabis legends isn’t unheard of. Other athletes that have been honored through cannabis strain names also include the self-titled Gary Payton strain that was produced in collaboration with Cookies Fam. The strain Beastmode OG pays homage to Marshawn Lynch and was bred by a Seattle-based grower. Additionally, other strains have been named in honor of athletes such as Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird, and Michael Phelps, to name a few.
It’s extraordinary to see that policies surrounding cannabis are starting to progress in the right direction. One day soon, athletes such as the Denver Nuggets will be able to utilize the natural powers of cannabis to relieve medical ailments or simply to relax and enjoy the day without fear of repercussions.
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