Tyson Ranch broke ground in 2017 in the middle of the California desert. It was good timing. Proposition 64 had freshly legalized cannabis for recreational use in the state. When Tyson is being asked about his corporate vision or business savvy, he inevitably gets personal. He describes marijuana as medicine that has put his life […]
From Snoop Dogg to Seth Rogen to Mike Tyson. One of the great things about being a celebrity is the ability to both back desirable products (for money, of course!), and start your own company. Sure, we’d all do it if we had the money, but since the majority of us will never be able to use multi-million-dollar paychecks to fund our projects of love, the best we can do is check out those who can. Cannabis is huge in popular culture, and used by the biggest stars out there. Let’s take a look at which celebrities have gotten into the field of starting cannabis companies.
Celebrities and their cannabis companies might be all the rage, but that’s not the only big trend in the cannabis world. One of the coolest stories of late is the addition of delta-8 THC products. Unlike delta-9, delta-8 produces less psychoactive high, and less anxiety to boot. For this reason, many people prefer this newer form of THC to the old standard. If you think this might be good for you, check out our awesome delta-8 THCdeals, and get in on the latest cannabis trend.
We all know him, we all love him. Well, maybe not Evander Holyfield. But the rest of us have become pretty endeared to the face-tattooed, heavy-weight boxing champion over the years. And what is this face-tattooed, heavy-weight boxing champion doing now? Setting up cannabis ranches. When California changed its laws, and opened the door for cannabis production, Mike Tyson didn’t waste any time, setting up Tyson’s Ranch in El Segundo, California.
He even started a podcast called ‘Hotboxin’ where he chats with other celebrities, smokes, and promotes his other cannabis-related ventures. His company works as more than just a cannabis-growing ranch, functioning as a licensing and branding company as well. The end goal is for an entire entertainment complex with hotels, stores, entertainment venues and so on to be built.
Tyson didn’t stop with the continental US though, he’s been planning on taking his operation to the island of Antigua, which opened the door for medical cannabis tourism in 2018. The country does not yet allow recreational cannabis (though its working on it), but it does now have lax policies that allow for investors like Mike Tyson to come in and start businesses there. When the story was originally reported in early 2020, Tyson had submit a proposal to set up a wellness center on the island along with a hotel. While initial requests were said to have gone through just fine, a full proposal was subsequently requested.
Most news on this venture came out last year when Tyson was initially looking into the paradise island location for his new wellness center. And it likely won’t be a story again until the doors of said center are ready to open.
When it comes to celebrities and cannabis companies, some names just make more sense. A name like Seth Rogen has become synonymous with marijuana, much like later entry Snoop Dogg. We’ve watched Seth Rogen light up in movies, from This is the End to Pineapple Express. And we’ve heard him talk extensively about it in tons of publications. Now, Seth Rogen is no longer simply a cannabis aficionado, he’s a cannabis entrepreneur as well.
It was reported earlier this year that Seth Rogen, along with business partner Evan Goldberg, would launch their cannabis brand in the US in March. The brand, cleverly named Houseplant, is a cannabis goods and accessories company that will sell the likes of ashtrays and lighters, as well as actual cannabis, which will only be shipped in the California area to start. This operation is almost all Hollywood-based, with business partner Evan Goldberg, and co-founders Alex McAtee and James Weaver, all associated with Rogen and Goldberg’s studio, Point Grey Pictures. The last co-founder Michael Mohr, who will be acting CEO, is the only one not entertainment related, instead coming in as a venture investor.
Part of the idea of Rogen’s new company, is to show the positive side of cannabis consumption. Said Mohr through an e-mail, “Our founders have a long history enjoying cannabis and believe it should be treated with the reverence it deserves… Through their film work, and the pride with which they speak about cannabis publicly, Seth and Evan have shown the world that not only does the potential exist to have a healthy relationship with cannabis, it is also very normal, and can have an amazingly positive impact on one’s life.”
This is not the first venture for the company, however. Houseplant initially started doing business in Canada in 2019. It joins the US market now as more states change tack, legalizing cannabis for recreational use, including New York State and New Mexico, which both passed legalization policies within 24 hours of each other in the past month.
I feel like it would be remiss to write an article on celebrities creating cannabis companies, without mentioning the grandfather in the world of celebrity cannabis. Good old Snoop Dogg. Some would say Snoop Dogg (aka Calvin Broadus) and cannabis go together like peanut butter & jelly, or Colombia and cocaine, it’s almost hard to imagine one without the other. And when it comes to celebrities entering the cannabis game, Snoop Dogg was one of the first – predictably – to throw his pipe in the ring.
After bringing us album after album filled with the most pot-friendly of lyrics, and outspokenly letting us know how he feels about the plant, Snoop Dogg was one of the first celebrities to get involved with cannabis companies. Back in 2015, Snoop Dogg announced the opening of a new company called Leafs by Snoop in conjunction with Canopy Growth Corporation, a cannabis company with products like flower concentrates and edibles which was geared, at the time, for sales in Colorado.
All flowers involved in Leafs by Snoop are handpicked by Snoop himself, and hand-weighed for accuracy. “It’s a true blessing that I can share the products I love so much with y’all today” said Snoop at the time, “From the flower, to the concentrates, and edibles – it’s all hand-picked by yours truly so you know it’s the hottest product out there. It’s the real deal and you gotta get out to Colorado to try it first!”
But that’s hardly the end of the story for Snoop Dogg and cannabis. In fact, it isn’t even the beginning of it. In 2013, Snoop Dogg partnered with Grenco Science to produce a line of vaporizers called the Snoop Dog G-Pen. In 2019, Snoop partnered with Israeli company Seedo as a brand ambassador for the company that promotes home growing. The deal was for Snoop to endorse the latest Seedo product, ‘Seedo Homelab’, a machine with AI technology that aids in growing cannabis plants. Mr. Dogg also co-founded a marijuana investment company called Casa Verde Capital which announced at the end of 2020 that a deal for $100 million in funding had been closed, according to paperwork filed with the SEC.
Snoop Dogg isn’t the only name synonymous with cannabis. Let’s not forget rock icon Willie Nelson, who was also one of the first celebrities to get involved with cannabis companies when he started Willie’s Reserve in 2016. Nelson opened his company with the idea of helping people by providing good products, as well as supporting smaller local businesses.
He kicked off the opening of his company with two concerts. Products were originally only available in Colorado, but since that time have started being sold in other locations. In 2018, it was reported that Tuatara Capital, the parent company of Willie’s Reserve, raised $12 million for the brand, which was used to expand the company into other locations, and which brings the total raised funds to $29.5 million.
Some interesting aspects of Nelson’s operation? Well, for starters, Nelson acts as the company’s chief testing officer (CTO), and while this might be a joke, it suffices to say that Nelson takes an active approach to the quality assurance of his products. In 2019, Nelson launched Willie’s Remedy and Willie’s Rescue in conjunction with GCH incorporated, a cannabis intellectual property company. While Willie’s Remedy focuses on hemp-based wellness products for people, Willie’s Rescue focuses on hemp-based products for pets.
Rappers and cannabis
Starting a cannabis company seems all the rage for top rappers of today. I already mentioned Snoop Dogg, but he’s not alone in this. Take Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) who started Monogram, which launched its first products in 2020. Monogram so far specializes in indoor grown craft cannabis strains, with the OG Handroll – a 1.5 gram joint – being its flagship product. Subversive Capital Acquisition Corp, an acquisition company, announced in 2020 it would acquire Monogram.
Then there’s Ice-Cube, or O’Shea Jackson, who announced in February 2021 the launch of the well-titled Fryday Kush, which was inspired – as it sounds – by his iconic film Friday. Ice Cube is launching the brand in conjunction with Caviar Gold, with products currently available in California, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Arizona.
What other rappers are becoming ganjapeneurs? Drake (Aubrey Graham) announced the launch of a branded marijuana products line through More Life Growth Company in conjunction with Canopy Growth Corp. According to the company, his product line is meant for “wellness, discovery and overall personal growth with the hope of facilitating connections and shared experiences across the globe.” And let’s certainly not forget Lil Wayne (Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.), who launched his own cannabis brand in 2019 called GKUA Ultra Premium. The line of high potency marijuana products is “designed to provide consumers with the best high of their lives.”
Dead celebrities have cannabis companies, and other people too
While Bob Marley might not be living anymore, his family has carried on his name through the cannabis company Marley Natural, which launched in 2014 with funding help from Privateer Holdings. Privateer Holdings signed a 30-year licensing deal with the Marley family. Bob Marley is not the only dead guy to have a line of products in his name.
The family of Jerry Garcia is also getting in on it. In late 2020, Garcia Hand Picked was launched in California, with marketing through Holistic Industries, a multi-state cannabis operator. Said Garcia’s daughter Trixie on the partnership: “We picked Holisitic Industries based on shared values, a proven track record of successful operations, scalability across multiple states and their ability to launch and market new brands; not to mention they have a senior leadership team full of Deadheads.”
There are way more celebrities who are involved in the cannabis industry, than can be mentioned here. But I’ll leave you with a few last entries. First up is Tommy Chong, another name in the cannabis world where the business created meets a generally held expectation. Chong reunited with Cheech Marin, his co-star in Up In Smoke, among other films, to produce a line of Cheech & Chong dispensaries in 2020 in legalized states across America. And then there’s our favorite kitchen maven Martha Stewart, who also released a line of CBD products in 2020 through Canopy Growth, the same company working with Seth Rogen, that bought out Jay-Z’s line, and which is doing business with half the entries on this list.
In 2019, yet another iconic rocker, Jimmy Buffet, entered the arena, partnering with Surterra Wellness, to create his Coral Reefer line. The tagline for the company is ’Good for the Body, Good for the Soul’, and focuses mainly on vapes thus far. In 2020, yet another musician got involved when Carlos Santana launched his own brand Mirayo by Santana, released through California’s Left Coast Ventures. The initial offerings of the line are pre-rolled joints and premium flowers.
Last, but certainly not least, and in an effort to show that it’s not just actors and musicians becoming cannabis entrepreneurs, we’ve got Calvin Johnson of Detroit Lions fame. The former wide receiver founded Michigan-based cannabis company Primitiv in 2019. It was even announced that year that Johnson, along with partner, and former teammate Rob Sims, had landed a partnership with Harvard University to specifically research cannabis for chronic and traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and for the general use of pain management.
If you’ll notice, the majority of celebrities that have started cannabis companies, have done so within just the last few years. This is a testament to how quickly the cannabis industry is growing, and how far-reaching it really is. The options for cannabis products are getting more and more varied, and this recent push from high profile names we already know and love, may even help to change legal policies.
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Mike Tyson is known as an eccentric guy. From youngest heavyweight boxing champion, to the guy who bit another guy’s ear off, to pro-wrestler, to author… Tyson has most recently styled himself as a businessman and an entrepreneur in the field of cannabis tourism. With the help of new regulation legalizing cannabis use in Antigua, Tyson is looking to set up his next Ranch in the Caribbean.
Mike Tyson has been at the top of the world as an undisputed heavyweight world champion. He’s also been jailed for drugs, got his face tattooed, was convicted of rape in ‘92, did the reality TV thing, has been in movies, pushed products, and over the years has become one of those weirdly likeable guys, who despite large missteps, has always managed to keep public interest, and endear himself to the world.
In his latest move, Tyson shows not only his entrepreneurial spirit, but an acute sense of business knowhow and timing, and an overall fondness for cannabis, along with a desire to share it with others in a positive way. When California changed its laws and legalized cannabis production, Tyson immediately took the bait, opening his first Tyson Ranch in El Segundo, California.
In fact, Tyson also started a podcast called ‘Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson’ as a way to shoot the breeze with friends and other media personalities, but also as a way to promote his growing cannabis business-related endeavors. The podcast often features himself and guests relaxing at the Ranch, and smoking as they talk about different subjects.
Tyson’s Ranch is more than just a place to go to (which it will be upon completion), it’s also a licensing and branding company, and Tyson’s Ranch – the physical location in California – is a place to grow both recreational and medicinal cannabis, as well as hemp and CBD production.
The end goal, apart from the grow operation and investment in creating and producing cannabis products, is for the Ranch to be a whole entertainment complex complete with hotels, retail stores, amphitheater, camping grounds, and even Tyson University – a planned educational center for teaching people how to cultivate cannabis on their own.
Antigua is an island in the West Indies, which is a part of the Caribbean region. It is the larger constituent of Antigua and Barbuda, an island set that together act as an independent state. Antigua was only officially disassociated from Britain in 1981 after having been colonized from circa 1632. Tourism is a mainstay of the Antiguan economy, with many upscale hotels and resorts making their way down the coastline.
Antigua and cannabis
Cannabis was illegal in Antigua up until 2018 when the Misuse of Drugs (Amendment) Act 2018 was passed instituting personal use laws that allow individuals to have up to 15 grams of cannabis in their possession and up to four plants. This was followed up at near-lightning speed by the Cannabis Act 2018, which legalized the supply and production of cannabis for both religious and medical purposes.
It should be remembered that the Caribbean is home to the Rastafari movement which uses cannabis religiously, making for new religious exemptions in cannabis law in this region. Jamaica was the first to do this in 2015. As far as the medicinal aspect, the Antiguan government created the Antigua and Barbuda Medicinal Cannabis authority which governs the regulation and licensing for both medicinal cannabis and cannabis meant for religious purposes.
Though Antigua and Barbuda is not actually a big producer of cannabis, these first two laws were followed by a third, the Hemp Bill 2020, which legalized the cultivation, production, and supply of hemp and hemp-related products for medical, industrial, scientific, and supplemental purposes.
Investors interested in getting licensing can contact the board of the Medical Cannabis Authority. Application forms for licenses can be obtained at the Government Printery. If all this sounds like some pretty fast acting in a very specific direction, it is.
Mike Tyson’s Ranch in Antigua
The Cannabis Act 2018 opened the door for medical cannabis tourism in Antigua, and also opened the door for all kinds of outside investment with some attractive incentives. Foreign investors are not limited in how much they can own or control when investing, and are allowed to hold the entirely of their investment. Anyone looking to start an operation, whether foreign or from Antigua, can transfer property titles in about 40 days making for quick business movements.
In early 2020, it was reported that Tyson met with Antigua Cabinet members to discuss participating in a conference later in the year, as well as getting approval for another Tyson Ranch location in Antigua. The conference was initially scheduled for April of 2020 and was rescheduled for September in light of the Coronavirus situation. It will be a symposium with events, conferences, and live musical performances, and will feature leaders of industry in medicine, finance, and politics on the topic of cannabis.
The Ranch Tyson would build would be a wellness center on a property featuring a hotel that Tyson would buy or lease. Tyson’s request was said to have received initial approval and Tyson and his colleagues have been asked to submit their full proposal. It was, perhaps, the planning of the conference that got Tyson interested in building a retreat in Antigua in the first place.
How have the laws effected business?
While Tyson is in the planning phases of building his new cannabis-infused Antiguan paradise Ranch, other companies have also become interested in Antigua based on its new cannabis laws, and Tyson will certainly have some competition.
Eco Equity has apparently been approved to open operations in Antigua. Eco Equity is a British based company with large aspirations of becoming the premiere producer and distributer of medical cannabis products globally. As one of the first to start production in Africa’s burgeoning cannabis market, Eco Equity is already setting up operations in Zimbabwe under that country’s new commercial legalization for medical cannabis model.
In Antigua, Eco Equity hopes to be the first and top brand for medical cannabis (for which it’ll likely be competing with the likes of Mike Tyson fame, and other comparable companies). Just by getting the licensing, Eco Equity will have positioned itself in two of the central locations of the new global cannabis market – Africa and the Caribbean. And while the company comes complete with its own Social Responsibility Program (CSR) which is supposedly geared toward creating work for locals, whether Eco Equity really is the gentle giant it poses as, remains to be seen.
For now, anyone interested in the company’s plans can get a look at their proposed operations for Antigua and Barbuda, here. As the new pharma-cannabis industry grows, some of these new enterprises – like Eco Equity – start to resemble large-scale pharmaceutical companies more than the smaller independent operations that have been ruling so far. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but it doesn’t have to be a good thing either.
As a glaring reminder that cannabis is not 100% legal, and still very much a business with a large amount of government interest due to the sheer amount of profits possible, in February of this year, Antigua officials confiscated 30 pounds of cannabis at the airport which is believed to have been flown in illegally from Miami. While laws have certainly loosened considerably in Antigua, and in many other parts of the world, trafficking it – as in, providing it without government approval – is still very much illegal.
The Caribbean Islands have become a new cannabis hotspot, not necessarily just for growing cannabis and creating products, but also as a hub for medical marijuana tourism. With the US Virgin Islands already considering passing legislation to make the entire island legal for recreational cannabis, and Jamaicans using the religious provision of their personal rights laws to provide legal smoking sanctuaries, the Caribbean is shaping up to be the ultimate location for cannabis tourism – whether medical, recreational, or religious.
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Why do consumers love drinkable cannabis? Let us count the ways. It’s discreet, it requires no special equipment, it tastes good, and it’s a familiar and safe delivery system.
Weed-infused drinks make up one of the fastest-growing segments of the cannabis market. It’s a sprawling category that includes tinctures to mix with cocktails; non-alcoholic alternatives to wine, beer, or champagne; wellness beverages that can lull you to sleep or take the place of aspirin or ibuprofen after a strenuous game of hoops or tennis; and sparkling sodas that are as appealing to millennials as they are to baby boomers who aren’t comfortable lighting up.
Here are answers to some common questions about cannabis tonics.
Why Are There so Many Drinkables?
Bottoms up! Straddling the lines among intoxicating drinks, wellness shots, and liquid medicine, drinkable cannabis is taking off. According toBDS Analytics, which tracks cannabis trends, there were 88 beverage brands on the market in mid-2019; that’s 19 more than during the same time period in 2018. In 2018, beverages made up 6% of the total edibles market in the United States. That percentage is rising steadily and BDS predicts that by 2022canna-beverages, including THC and cannabidiol (CBD) products sold in dispensaries and non-THC drinks sold in supermarkets, drugstores, convenience stores, and the like could be a $1 billion market.
A lot of familiar names are behind this boom.Mike Tyson has launched Dwiink, a line of CBD-enhanced water and fruit-flavored beverages whose name is a playful wink to his trademark lisp. Big booze distributors are investing heavily in weedy drinks: Heineken-owned Lagunitas offers Hi-Fi Hops, a pair of nonalcoholic, zero-calorie beverages that come in two dosages, 10 milligrams THC, or 5 milligrams each of THC and CBD per bottle.
Constellation Brands, which owns Corona beer, Robert Mondavi wine, and Svedka vodka, is investing billions in Canopy Growth, a mega Canadian cannabis producer that’s creating nonalcoholic cannabis-infused drinks. Molson Coors is partnering with Canada’s Hydropothecary Corp. on a similar venture.
Meanwhile, the maker of Arizona Iced Tea has signed a licensing agreement with Dixie Brands to manufacture and distribute canna-drinks under the Arizona label.
Other companies are expanding into the drinks space, such as Weller, a manufacturer of functional snacks. The Boulder, Colorado, company in 2019 launched a line of CBD-infused sparkling water flavors it calls W+ and a CBD drink mix.
Why Did Cannabis Drinks Take so Long to Hit the Market?
Developing a beverage infused with CBD or THC is a lot more complicated than mixing gin with tonic. For one thing, cannabinoids are hydrophobic — meaning they repel water. Drop cannabinoids into water and they’ll float to the surface rather than dispersing evenly.
It’s taken cannabis chemists a lot of hit-or-miss experiments to overcome this hurdle.SōRSE, a Seattle-based beverage-tech company, is one of the innovators in the field, developing a method to convert cannabis oils into a water-soluble emulsion that has no cannabis taste or smell and that disperses uniformly throughout liquid. The technology is proprietary and Michael Flemmens, SōRSE’s vice president of science, will say only that the company uses food-grade components that have already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as GRAS, or generally recognized as safe.
The company uses the ingredients to produce THC-infused products that include Happy Apple, a sparkling, cannabis-infused apple beverage; Utopia, fruit-flavored sparkling water with 10 to 100 milligrams of THC per 12-ounce bottle; and Vertus, an alcohol-free sparkling bubbly that’s meant to be an alternative to sparkling wine or Champagne, and which comes in dosages of 50 or 100 milligrams of THC.
Will Drinkable Weed Trigger Paranoia?
Predictability is one of the advantages well-formulated THC-infused beverages have over edibles, said Niccolo Aieta, Ph.D., founder and Chief Technology Officer forSpherex, a Denver-based company that develops cannabis concentrates and whose products includePhyx, a sparkling water brand with microdoses of THC and CBD.
“Cannabis drinks are fast-acting, taking effect within minutes as opposed to several hours with edibles,” he said. “That allows users to better control their experience and gives them an overall better experience.” The Phyx website advises users that, on average, they’ll feel the drink’s effects in 10 minutes, with the buzz hanging around for about an hour.
With 2.5 milligrams of CBD and 2.5 milligrams of THC, “Phyx is the equivalent of a nice glass of white wine,” Aieta said. “It’s a slight elevation of your daily mood, good for unwinding, relaxing and socializing with friends. For people who are canna-curious, it’s a great way to explore and experiment.”
Flemmens strikes a similar note. “Our biggest seller is Happy Apple with 10 milligrams THC,” he said. “We suggest that inexperienced cannabis users try it on a Saturday night at home, not a Friday night at a party. Drink half the bottle, put it in the fridge and wait half an hour. If you like the experience, you have two choices. You can stay where you are or go for the rest of the bottle.”
The woman-owned and -operated Humboldt Apothecary takes an herbalist’s approach to cannabis by formulating tinctures with medicinal herbs to work in concert with the full-spectrum cannabis. The blends of botanical ingredients with cannabinoids not only aid a more rapid onset, according to the company, but also help to achieve certain effects: a peppermint formula for relief of congestion, passionflower and lavender for sleeping, or gingko and rosemary for a brain boost. Humboldt Apothecary suggests using a couple of drops in a mocktail, much the way you might add bitters to a traditional cocktail.
“They’re making accessible the benefits of a plant that used to be a part of people’s lives on a daily basis,” said Van Rixel, who noted those benefits include relaxation, better sleep, relief from irritability, or inflammation. Van Rixel suggested that consumers might want to think of CBD beverages the way they do energy drinks: Find the dose — a single shot in the morning or several throughout the day — that works best for them.
Where Can You Buy These Products?
That’s complicated. Very complicated. Regulations are an ever-changing mess, with state and federal rules sometimes contradicting each other. TheFDA published a statement that noted the agency is aware that products on the market are adding CBD to foods or labeling CBD as a dietary supplement. However, the agency advised that, “Under federal law, it is currently illegal to market CBD this way.”
Consumers can start with a product’s website for “where to buy” info. Some drinks are being tested in one or two cannabis-friendly markets, such as Coloradoor Washington, or in Canada, where cannabis is legal nationwide. Dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal also are carrying an ever-expanding selection of beverages with THC and CBD.
Many CBD drinks can be shipped to all 50 states. Thanks to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, some states allow beverages with hemp-derived CBD to be sold in groceries. For example, Queen City Hemp CBD Seltzer, which was launched in 2017 and was the first CBD seltzer in the U.S., is sold at retailers in 26 states, including several conservative states such as Alabama, Texas, and Georgia. However, the sparkling beverage cannot be sold in cannabis-friendly California because of complex state regulations.
Queen City’s founder, Nic Balzer, who’s part of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, echoed the views of others in the canna-beverage biz when he said, “There are a lot of regulatory challenges and we’re hopeful that the FDA will make a ruling soon that will clarify these laws.”
Feature image: Boxing legend Mike Tyson aims to be the heavyweight champion of a fast-growing segment of edibles — drinkable cannabis. Dwiink, a play on Tyson’s distinctive lisp, is his line of CBD-enhanced water and fruit beverages. (Photo courtesy of The Ranch Companies)
Mike Tyson hasn’t had a professional fight since 2005, but the strength in his handshake suggests the former boxing champ still packs plenty of power in his fists. Yet Iron Mike is focused on another sport these days.
Melted into the pillows of a couch, he was watching the U.S. Open. His daughter is a serious tennis player and Tyson often brings her to watch the pros in person. “We just left this place,” he said without shifting his eyes away from the TV.
Tyson was hanging out in a second-floor office at The+Source, a dispensary in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson, Nevada, where the “baddest man on the planet” also owns a home. The 53-year-old is about to head downstairs for a public appearance to celebrate the release of his Tyson Ranch cannabis products at a growing number of dispensaries in Nevada.
“We didn’t grow that, but we found the guy who did,” said Kevin Bell, chief operating officer of cannabis and hemp operations. “Show us the lab test. … If Mike likes it, we’re selling your product.”
THC products by Tyson Ranch are currently available throughout California and Nevada with plans for distribution in Colorado, Washington, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma in the near future. CBD products are available in 46 states with a global presence quickly taking shape. If that wasn’t enough, more than 400 acres near Palm Springs, California, are being developed into an actual Tyson Ranch. Think of it as a resort or amusement park where you can light up while lounging on a lazy river.
This could be just the beginning. Tyson is wasting no opportunity in cornering the market on cannabis culture. His pot-centric podcast, “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson,” has hundreds of thousands of online subscribers who tune in for celebrity interviews with the likes of Tony Robbins and Snoop Dogg.
It’s an impressive story of reinvention for Tyson, who has struggled through controversies in and out of the boxing ring after becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history at 20 years old. He opened up to Weedmaps News about his early exposure to cannabis, smoking before a professional fight, and using weed to be a better person.
Q: How were your first introduced to cannabis?
A: My mother’s friend used to smoke marijuana, and she gave us some — to try and put us to sleep, I guess.
Q: How old were you?
A: Six, seven. Young, real young. I’ve been using it ever since.
Q: Were you able to use it as a boxer?
A: I used it in one fight as a boxer. Great fight, great outcome, felt great, everything was good.
Q: Which fight was that?
A: Andrew Golota [in 2000].
Q: You used cannabis as part of your training regimen?
A: No. I just got nervous the night before and I smoked.
Q: Were you tested for it? A: Yeah, I had to pay a $250,000 fine. (The victory was revised to a no contest following the drug test failure.)
Q: Do you think cannabis can help boxers today?
A: I think all athletes should smoke marijuana if that’s what they choose to do. I’m not pushing it on anybody. I’m just telling people who are like me, who experience pain from a long career, [to consider] cannabis.
Q: How did you get involved with Tyson Ranch and the business of cannabis?
A: My partner Rob Hickman informed me of the do’s and don’ts, ins and outs [of the industry] and it was a no-brainer. I decided to get in.
Q: You’re not just the face of the company. I hear you’re actively involved in the office. This is part of your lifestyle. Tell me about your personal involvement with the business, aside from public appearances.
A: I work every day. I’m involved with all the decision making. It’s my baby.
Q: Is Tyson Ranch targeting a broad audience? Or do you see this as an opportunity to market cannabis to athletes?
A: No. This is world domination. This is for everybody from all walks of life. Anyone who can breathe air.
Q: Would your boxing career have been different if you were able to use cannabis more openly?
A: Oh, definitely. I wouldn’t have had as many lawsuits. I wouldn’t have been locked up as many times as I was either. If I had been smoking marijuana instead of taking those pills that made me feel like a zombie, I would have never got into the fights that cost me all of those millions of dollars. I’m talking about street fights and brawls that cost me so much goddamn money. I didn’t even know these people.
Q: What about cannabis as an alternative to painkillers and opioids?
A: I was a user of opiates most of my life. I’m bipolar, I’m tripolar, and I’m manic depressive. I’m all these fucking things. So I took all these pills and I became worse. I became obese, I became a zombie. So I changed my whole life, I started smoking and used no more opiates. I lost 45 pounds. My life turned around and that’s why I’m here talking to you now.
Q: What’s your favorite strain?
A: My favorite strain is The Toad. The Toad all the way. I can’t even explain the effect.
Q: What’s the concept behind Dwiink? A: We needed a new water with a CBD push to it. I believe CBD is the future and [eventually] CBD will be part of our DNA.
Q: You’ve really reinvented yourself. Your career has covered so much ground, starting as a fighter and now a major player in the cannabis industry. How does it feel to have this new chapter in life?
A: When people say that word [reinvention], I always say — survival. I don’t think I’m resurging. I just never gave up.
Q: You’re always fighting.
A: Life is a continuous fight. We don’t win all the bouts either. Who’s going to win in the end? It’s like a marathon. Do we give up or lay down before we get to that level of the game?
Feature image: After his successful yet fraught boxing career, Mike Tyson is bringing his competitive instincts to the cannabis space as a businessman. One of his products is Dwiink, a cannabidiol (CBD)-infused beverage. (Courtesy of The+Source)
The summer is long and sometimes the news is slow, even in the world of weed. So, when I came across an article about Mike Tyson telling Eben Britton and Jim Jones that he smokes $40,000 worth of weed a month on his podcast, I actually stopped to ask myself, “How would I spend that much on weed? CouldI even spend that much?”
I feel a little selfish right now, I gotta admit. I should add, the dinner would be for all my friends and I would share the wealth left and right!
Mmm, I could probably spend $40,000 a month on rosin. I would buy nothing but Rosin Brothers, 710 Labs, All Greens Extracts, Green Dot. I’d buy gigantic Honey Pot sizes that are as big as they would possibly sell, 28 grams if they have ’em. At $130 a gram, that is $3,640 alone. I would fill a fridge with every delicious rosin I found. I would buy a giant THCA diamond and turn it into a ring. I would buy a rosin press and be the Santa Claus of rosin.
I would stock up on 99.99% THCA Crystalline from Guild Extracts, any 710 Labs flower and Live Rosin, Ahti Ice Wax, True Hash Co. 6-Star Hash, Harvest Moon flower and Live Resin, Exclusive Melts BHO, and, of course, some Mothership rigs and bongs to consume it all. I also wouldn’t mind getting to smoke out of a Banjo Glass Boba Fett helmet at least once before I leave this planet.
Nic, is this for content? I need to know if I’m speaking on the record here.
I will need to think on this. Most of my ideas involve either building a weed robot — like Marc Maron’s drug robot from “GLOW” — a stocked weed vending machine and pantry, or hotboxing a botanical garden with different strains for different exhibits.
The rest I’d spend on an even split between top-shelf flower and juicy jars of sticky sauce and diamonds. I’m also assuming I’d end up with a month’s supply robust enough to spread the wealth of weed around to friends, family, hell, even the most casual acquaintances. Let’s get the world high!
Tell us how you’d spend your $40,000.
Feature illustration by Allena Braithwaite/Weedmaps
Mike Tyson isn’t shy about his love for marijuana. On Monday’s episode of his podcast, aptly named “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson,” the former heavyweight champion shared just how much he spends on the psychoactive drug. “What do we smoke a month?” he asked his co-host, former NFL player turned marijuana advocate Eben Britton. “Is it $40,000 a month?” “We smoke 10 tons of weed at the ranch a month,” Britton said, referencing Tyson Ranch, the…
July 21, 2019
(updated July 22, 2019)
Published by SDZ News
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Tyson Ranch, Mike Tyson’s cannabis/health & wellness company, will partner with the first annual Antigua Cannabis Conference– offering their support and resources to the event, which is set to take place in April 2020. Working in conjunction with Prime Minister Gaston Browne, of Antigua and Barbuda, Tyson Ranch is helping to produce and promote the three-day conference, which will feature live music as well as symposiums and events with industry leaders in finance, medicine, and politics from around the world.