The NBA stars join several current and former athletes to invest in the marijuana industry amid an ongoing legalization push.
NBA stars Carmelo Anthony and John Wall are the latest athletes to shoot their shot in the marijuana industry, investing in cannabis company LEUNE. The California-based brand raised $5 million in funding following a strategic fundraising effort that also included actress and TV presenter (and Carmelo’s wife) La La Anthony, agent Rich Paul, and music manager Anthony Saleh.
The announcement comes at a time where investor opportunities in the cannabis industry are as big as they’ve ever been. Last month, New York became the 16th state to legalize marijuana, and there are several legalization bills up for vote across the country for both medical and recreational use.
Anthony and Wall are now among several star athletes to make high-profile investments in the cannabis industry in recent years, including retired NBA player Al Harrington and former NFL stars Calvin Johnson and Marshawn Lynch.
“Having their support through this crucial growth stage makes a world of a difference for a brand of our size, and we look forward to building one of the leading names in cannabis together,” LEUNE CEO Nidhi Lucky Handa said of the company’s big-name investors. “These funds will be used to help us traverse new horizons — from developing new products to unlocking more geographies.”
Since its 2018 launch, LEUNE caters to what it calls the “Cannabis 3.0” consumer, one who is thoughtful about what they consume and has adopted an intersectional approach to social justice. Recently, LEUNE has partnered with organizations like the Last Prisoner Project to pursue criminal justice reform and racial equality.
For Wall, investing in LEUNE posed a unique opportunity that was about more than just cannabis. As the Houston Rockets guard and five-time NBA All-Star told CNBC, “Cultivating a sense of community has always been a top priority for me. I appreciate that LEUNE is not only a successful cannabis brand, but one that helps uplift marginalized voices through their ongoing social justice work.”
Wall, an influential presence during 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, DC and an advocate for revitalizing overlooked and underserved communities, has played with some incredible teammates over the years. One day, we may look back on his team-up with LEUNE as one of his very best.