The multi-year collaboration includes cross-platform integrations and will combat misconceptions around cannabis while advocating for legalization.
Kevin Durant and Thirty Five Ventures have partnered with Weedmaps, a leading technology platform for cannabis consumers and businesses, the parties announced Thursday. The multi-year deal also includes a sponsorship deal with Boardroom.
The goal of the agreement is to further break down the negative stereotypes associated with cannabis, while also examining its potential to aid athletes in wellness and recovery.
“Now more than ever, there is so much opportunity for growth in the cannabis industry as well as the removal of any remaining stigmas around its use,” Durant said in an official statement. “As a technology leader in the industry, Weedmaps has consistently been at the forefront of change over the last decade. In partnering with Boardroom and Thirty Five Ventures, they’ve shown an even bigger commitment to innovation.”
“What’s so exciting for us is that we’ve been involved in cannabis from an investor standpoint and we’ve told a lot of stories and covered the business of it with Boardroom,” adds Thirty Five Ventures co-founder Rich Kleiman. “And in having Weedmaps’ support in furthering that conversation, I do think that telling the business of it — exploring the effects that it’s having on people that haven’t had opportunities, that have been marginalized — is important in helping to normalize and destigmatize this conversation.”
It’s all part of Weedmaps’ broader vision since its founding in 2008: Powering a transparent and inclusive global cannabis economy and facilitating education on cannabis and its benefits. Parent company WM Technology, Inc. has been the driving force behind legislative reforms over the past dozen years, with the goal of reforming its regulations.
“As one of the largest technology providers in the sector, we are serious about our responsibility to lead the national discussion around cannabis and the need for cannabis regulations to be updated across the board,” said Chris Beals, Chief Executive Officer of Weedmaps.
For Weedmaps, a major objective remains keeping the public informed about the evolving cannabis landscape. The company has already curated content about how marijuana, hemp, and related products affect the body, athletes’ favorite cannabis products, and more. Boardroom has prioritized covering similar topics, from highlighting athletes’ cannabis ventures to the role that sports have played in changing the conversation around its usage in the United States.
“The stigma in society, it’s like the Band-Aid’s been ripped off. In the sports world, it was kind of an undercover thing that players used cannabis while they actively playing,” said Durant. “You hear the conversation more and more around the league about it, and I always thought it was interesting that the rest of the world was a little slower to be open about cannabis and its use.”
As part of the collaboration, Boardroom will work with Weedmaps on an original content series set to debut in 2022. Fans can look forward to additional co-branded projects as well, including:
- Exclusive events
- Merch drops
- Integrations throughout the Boardroom network
Beals joined Durant and Kleiman on this week’s episode of Boardroom’s “Out of Office” podcast to discuss the evolution of the role and perception of cannabis in both society and sports, the path to legalization in the United States, and the new partnership.
“We’re at this insane inflection point where the cannabis industry can go on a path where it’s creating opportunity for a lot of people. It’s giving back to the communities that frankly got screwed over as a result of the War on Drugs,” Beals said on the episode. “Being able to partner and tell those stories — there’s so many OGs and folks who have come through and clawed their way to get to this point where we are now — I couldn’t think of a better partnership to help shed light on that.”
“We talked about this, wanting to get into this space,” concluded Durant. “And to actually see it come full circle, this conversation around cannabis we always had just as friends, has been incredible.”