The Nevada State Athletic Commission will no longer punish fighters who test positive for cannabis.
The unanimous decision, reached Wednesday, will impact boxers and mixed martial artist fighters alike in the state, which frequently hosts high-profile bouts, ESPN reports.
“We should always be at the forefront of these issues,” NSAC chairman Stephen J. Cloobeck said.
The state of Nevada legalized marijuana for recreational use in private residences in July 2017. Last month, Nevada’s governor gave the state’s Cannabis Compliance Board the power to license and regulate lounges where cannabis is consumed. Lawmakers believe such venues will help make places like Sin City more alluring to tourists, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Fighters in Nevada, up to this point, faced a suspension of up to nine months and fines if cannabis was found in their systems. While testing for cannabis will continue into the start of 2022 for research purposes, athletes who test positive will face no consequences. A further assessment of the situation will be made at the end of that 6-month testing period, according to The Guardian. Fighters who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol on fight night, however, can be stopped from competing.
Nevada’s attorney general determined late last month that “It is within the Commission’s full discretion to determine what substances are prohibited under its anti-doping statutes and regulations.”