Major League Baseball (MLB) has taken a step forward in regards to its stance on cannabis. The league removed cannabis from its list of “Drugs of Abuse” and announced it would stop testing minor league players for cannabis and will begin testing for opioids after the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Although players are allowed to consume cannabis, the league office explained that players aren’t allowed to show up to work high and are banned from investing in or entering the cannabis industry.
In a memo, deputy commissioner Dan Halem said the league maintains the right to punish players who break existing cannabis laws, such as possession, distribution and driving under the influence. Before the policy revision, players who tested positive for cannabis were led to treatment and failure to comply resulted in a fine of $35,000. Team doctors are not allowed to prescribe cannabis or provide cannabis to players, and teams are not allowed to have cannabis products on club premises.
“Because Clubs are required to comply with all DEA regulations that apply to Controlled Substances, Club medical personnel are prohibited from prescribing, dispensing or recommending the use of marijuana or any other cannabinoid to any player or Club personnel,” the memo states.
The memo also said the MLB plans to address the rules regarding ownership in the cannabis industry and until then, “any such investments or commercial arrangements are still considered to be prohibited in accordance with current practices.” As the legal cannabis industry continues to grow, some MLB players have considered investing in the legal cannabis industry like players in other professional leagues have. Former MLB all-star Shane Victorino recently partnered with Arcadia Biosciences and Legacy Ventures Hawaii to grow, develop and extract hemp-derived CBD products.
The league mentions it’s teaming with NSF International, a product testing organization, to analyze and certify legal CBD products in order to allow teams to store them on club premises.