Nevada Athletic Commission approves Project to examine Marijuana Regulation

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on January 15, 2017.

The Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) on Friday unanimously approved a regulatory project which would examine the possibility of removing marijuana as a banned substance.

The project will be headed by NAC Executive Director Bob Bennett. He will consult the commission doctors, industry professionals in the fight business, and the marijuana community, to find out the advantages and disadvantages of a potential regulatory change, and produce his findings before the Commission. Then, the NAC will take final decision in this regard.

NAC Chairman Anthony Marnell said that a special hearing in March or April will be held to decide whether or not to remove marijuana substance from the banned list upon reviewing a report compiled by Bennett.

Currently, marijuana substance is banned by the commission for fighters in-competition, the period running from six hours before the competition to six hours after its completion, if more than 150 ng/ml is present in a fighter’s sample. As a recreational drug, that limit is only enforced in-competition, meaning on fight night. 

Popular UFC fighter Nick Diaz was famously suspended five years by the NAC for a third marijuana offense in 2015. The ban was bumped down to 18 months in a settlement agreement.

Luis Monda, head trainer at Johnny Tocco's Ringside Boxing Gym, doesn't believe fighters should be under the influence of drugs while fighting but does say regulations could be more lenient.  "If you can't operate heavy machinery for very good reasons while you're high, you probably shouldn't be taking punches to the head for a similar reason," said Monda.

Last year, the use of recreational marijuana was voted and legalized in Nevada with limited restrictions, and the new law went into effect from Jan. 1.

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