In honor of Black History Month, Stickyleaf would like to celebrate people of color who have been integral in the advancement of the weed industry. Here are a few:
One champion in the cannabis space is an NBA legend and Hall of Famer who has been making waves for quite some time is Al Harrington. The former NBA player is an exec in the weed industry. Last year, Al Harrington got the chance to sit down with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the legal climate of weed. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) touted his sponsorship of bud legislation making its way to the United Ste Senate. If the MORE Act enacts, weed will be removed from the Schedule I list of controlled drugs. The MORE Act (sometimes called ‘Pot Bill’ by multimedia sources) can trigger transformation in cannabis culture. Al Harrington is undoubtedly a person of color in the cannabis space who deserves praise.
Gary Payton is another person of color who everyone ought to celebrate during Black History Month. Another NBA Hall of Famer and the only guard to win Defensive Player of the Year, Gary Payton, has been a trendsetter in the cannabis industry for over a decade. A litany of cannabis patrons relates the NBA legend for his weed strain with the same name. Despite this, Payton has invested in countless ventures with significant returns on investments.
Matt Barnes & Stephen Jackson
Another person of color that is celebrated in the cannabis space is Matt Barnes. Many remember Matt Barnes for his off-the-court stunts. Unfortunately, none of those popular memories are associated with the cannabis industry. Despite this, Barnes, alongside one-time teammate Stephen Jackson (another person of color worth your time,) is investing in a slew of cannabis enterprises. Together, the two host a popular podcast titled “All The Smoke.” Here, Barnes and Jackson bring cannabis use among athletes to the forefront. The two have used their platform to interview decision-makers like Jeannie Buss, President of the Los Angeles Lakers, Masai Uijiri, President of the Toronto Raptors, NBA legend Magic Johnson, and others. Barnes & Jackson comfortably put all of the problematic topics surrounding cannabis on the table. We salute them for that.
Kevin Durant might be the first active NBA player with public cannabis endorsements and investments. To clarify, Durant doesn’t have any sponsorships with cannabis companies as a player. Nevertheless, investing in the cannabis industry is not prohibited by the NBA. 2-time NBA Champion and current leader in all-around scoring, Kevin Durant invested millions of dollars in multiple cannabis ventures. As the NBA continues to be regarded as one of the most socially-sound leagues in the world, We don’t expect Kevin Durant to be reprimanded by Adam Silver and the league anytime soon. In fact, he may become the first player with on-court endorsements from cannabis companies.
This last person of color did a lot for the cannabis industry, even if it was unintentional. Last year, Sha’Carri Richardson turned a lot of heads and made a slew of headlines. In 2021, Sha’Carri Richardson became a social pariah. Richardson, a celebrated collegiate track star out of LSU, became public enemy #1 after testing positive for THC. The USA Anti-Doping Agency decided to drop Richardson from the 2020 Summer Olympics. Richardson became a martyr for cannabis overnight, but it would all work out. The Anti-Doping agency slapped Richardson on the wrist. Richardson was allowed to compete in other events nearly 45 days after the suspension despite missing the Olympics. Additionally, the backlash associated with the decision caused the USA Anti-Doping Agency to reconsider the threshold of THC metabolites in future testing. Richardson also received a sponsorship from Dr. DabberZ worth nearly $250,000.