Prolific NBA icon Kevin Durant made waves across the world, announcing a collaborative content partnership with Weedmaps. Kevin Durant’s VC firm Thirty Five Ventures and Weedmaps are coming together to advocate for Cannabis and Sports as well as normalize the conversation through meaningful content initiatives.
With Cannabis coming to the forefront and leagues adopting new policies, athletes like Kevin Durant are betting big on Cannabis. Considered by many to be one of the best NBA players, Kevin Durant is winning off court as an entrepreneur and investor with an eye for tech and emerging industries.
Mid August, Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman were joined by Chris Beals on the Out Of Office Podcast to announce their partnership with Weedmaps, discuss the sponsorship agreement with Kevin’s Boardroom and share a glimpse of what’s to come in 2022.
“Thirty Five Ventures, Board Room, Kevin Durant, myself and our entire organization is partnering with Weedmaps to do amongst many things, normalize the conversation around cannabis…”-Rich Kleiman
“We talked about this, wanting to get into this space, like you (Rich Kleiman) said a few months back and to actually see it come full circle now and this conversation around cannabis, we always had every day. You know, just as friends and for us to, you know, actually try to tell stories around it and seeing the parallels with the sports world. It’s been incredible just to work through the deal, but now to have it signed, sealed. It’s exciting.”-Kevin Durant
“To me, it’s sort of an insane combination, because I think just the dominance that you (Kevin Durant) have from the sporting side, what you’ve built with 35 ventures, and what you’re doing, the elevated discussion around business, its intersection with sports, its intersection with culture, with music…. Being able to partner and tell stories, there are so many people, OG’s, and folks who have come through and clawed their way to get to this point where we are now, and I mean, I couldn’t think of a better partnership to help shed light on that.”-Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals
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Weedmaps was founded in 2008, created to be a comprehensive platform for consumers and focuses on building software solutions for the industry. Transparency and inclusivity is at the forefront of their mission and the upcoming content partnership aims to break the stigma as well as provide a platform to spark attention and awareness around Cannabis.
“I think that’s what’s so exciting for us is, you know, we have been involved in it from an investor standpoint. You know, we’ve told a lot of stories and covered the business of it with Boardroom and just having your guys support and furthering that conversation. I do think that telling the business end of it, in telling the effects that it’s having on people that haven’t had opportunities, that have been marginalized, is important in helping normalize this conversation and de-stigmatize it…Because it feels like there’s two stigmas right and in society. I feel like the band-aid has been ripped off.”-Rich Kleiman
“The stigma in society. I mean, it’s like you (Rich Kleiman) said the band-aids been ripped off. In the sports world, it kind of an undercover thing that players use cannabis and use it throughout while they are actively playing. I always thought that was an interesting thing. Even as I started to come into the league, you hear the conversation more and more in the league about it. I thought it was always interesting that the rest of the world was a little slower to be open about cannabis and the use. To see, you know, walking down the street I live in San Francisco, you walk around the corner and there are four or five dispensary’s right on the corner, and athletes are still being tested four times a year for cannabis. It just felt like the world was starting to close in on how people felt about the use of cannabis. Now, it is just an open dialogue and it’s been amazing to hear.“-Kevin Durant
“First of all, I think the thing that’s interesting is, look, we’ve all been brainwashed and indoctrinated. I grew up in Pennsylvania, I went through the D.A.R.E. Education, I got the shirts, you know, the health teachers are talking to you, like, you know, it’s your brain on drugs… I mean, the US has spent over $50 billion on the war on drugs and “to just say no” and drill it into our heads. I think for the first time, people are waking up and looking around and saying, Wait a second, like, maybe this isn’t the way it is.“-Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals
Listen to their entire interview to learn more about the Thirty Five venture partnership with Weedmaps on the Out Of Office Podcast.
As the cannabis industry continues to flourish, it’s important to keep the conversation open and constant. The trend towards normalizing Cannabis is not specific to one country. Athletes around the world are taking part in a global movement to end prohibition. Learn more about elite athletes using their platforms to change the perception of cannabis and normalize the conversation.