NSAC seeks public comment on possible cannabis rule changes

The NSAC appears prepared to once again loosen regulations surrounding cannabis use for fighters in Nevada.

By: Trent Reinsmith | 2 months ago
NSAC seeks public comment on possible cannabis rule changes
Photo by Amy Kaplan/Icon Sportswire

On Monday, April 24, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) will hold a public hearing to solicit comments on proposed regulations and rules for possible amendment or removal pursuant to Executive Order 2023-003. The regulations and rules the NSAC are seeking comments on are focused on cannabis and cannabis-derived products.

NSAC changes

According to documents obtained by Bloody Elbow, the commission would add the following to NSAC rules, chapter 467.011:

“The Commission does not classify cannabis or cannabis derived products as prohibited or banned substances under its program of drug testing and anti-doping that are included in one or more of the publications listed in subsection 1 provided such substances are legal for use or consumption under the laws of the State of Nevada”

The following language is also being considered for addition to chapter 467 of the NSAC rules:

“The possession, use, or consumption of cannabis or cannabis derived products
shall not be deemed an anti-doping violation under this Chapter, regardless of the laws of the
jurisdiction where such possession, use, or consumption occurs, provided such possession, use, or
consumption is legal under the laws of the State of Nevada.”

According to Nevada Law, it is legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of cannabis or 1/8 of an ounce of cannabis concentrate. Those 21 or older can also legally consume cannabis on private property.

2021 NSAC update

In July 2021, the commission said it would no longer discipline fighters if their drug tests showed more than 150 nanograms of marijuana per milliliter. The move to the 150 nanogram limit occurred in 2013 when the NSAC bumped that number up from 50 ng/ml.

The most recent suspension for marijuana from the commission came in September 2021, when Chris Barnett was suspended for four-and-a-half months and fined $1,036.08 in fines and legal fees. Barnett’s test was related to his May 22, 2021 submission loss to Ben Rothwell, which put his positive test immediately before the commission voted to no longer discipline fighters who popped for the substance in question.

NSAC and Nick Diaz

Nevada has come a long way from 2015 when it voted to hand down a five-year suspension to Nick Diaz for his third career marijuana-related suspension. At the time, NSAC commissioner Skip Avansino acknowledged that a five-year ban was essentially “a lifetime (ban) for (Diaz).” Diaz was also fined 30 percent of the $500,000 purse he received for his UFC 183 fight against Anderson Silva.

Diaz lost that fight by decision, but the bout was later ruled a no contest after Silva tested positive for drostanolone and androsterone. Silva was fined his $200,000 win bonus, 30 percent of his $600,000 “show” purse and suspended for one year. Diaz’s suspension was later reduced to 18 months and his fine fell from $165,000 to $100,000.

Public comments on the proposed language additions occur on April 24 at 9:00 a.m. at the Nevada Business Center at 3300 West Sahara Avenue, Nevada Room #400 in Las Vegas.

Share this story

About the author
Trent Reinsmith
Trent Reinsmith

Trent Reinsmith is a freelance writer based out of Baltimore, MD. He has been covering sports for more than 15 years, with a focus on MMA for most of that time. Trent focuses on the day-to-day business of MMA — both inside and outside the cage — for Bloody Elbow.

More from the author

Related Stories