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The NCAA announced that Division I athletes will no longer be tested for cannabis during championships. The new rule is effective immediately and reframes cannabis in corporate culture. Read more about the announcement and how changes could reflect in other industries across corporate America.

On June 25, the new Division I rule took place effective immediately. Athletes will no longer test for cannabis during the championship games. Penalties currently being served by student-athletes who previously tested positive for cannabis were also discontinued.

“The NCAA drug testing program is intended to focus on integrity of competition, and cannabis products do not provide a competitive advantage,” Council Chair Josh Whitman, University of Illinois’ athletic director, said in a statement. “The council’s focus is on policies centered on student-athlete health and well-being rather than punishment for cannabis use.”

The NCAA can still test for PEDS, stimulants and narcotics at random. As the organization did when conducting random testing for cannabis ahead of the Football Championship Subdivision tournament.

These cannabis changes have been progressive over the years within organizations like the NCAA. according to Complex, in 2015, the punishment was cut in half. This reduced the penalty to six months instead of a one-year suspension. In 2022, the organization increased the threshold for the acceptable amount of THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) in testing.

As more states legalize recreational and medical marijuana consumption, companies and organizations seem to follow suit. It appears they are loosening the reigns for the big “chiefers” working in corporate. Like Council Chair Whitman said, let’s focus on the well-being.

Marijuana has several benefits that could help athletes and people alike. It’s healing properties can aid in recovery while training and in competition. Some other benefits that could serve athletes and other wellness enthusiasts include treating anxiety, reducing inflammation, and lowering blood pressure, according to the National Library of Medicine. 

The question is which industries will follow suit? Will other age-old companies come to grips with weed in the workplace? Unless we see cannabis federally legalized, we would bet many businesses aren’t taking the risk.

Comment your predictions for the future of cannabis in corporate culture below.