Between his long and controversial professional boxing career, numerous television and film appearances, and scores of biographies and sports documentaries, you may think you’ve seen it all when it comes to Mike Tyson. But did you know that “Iron Mike” has recently expanded his horizons into the budding cannabis industry? In this article, we’ll explore how this boxer turned canna-preneur is putting his mark on the wide world of weed.
Mike Tyson’s cannabis empire
As a cannabis enthusiast, but not a close observer of Mike Tyson’s recreational life, I was surprised at this brazen admission and intrigued enough to learn more about his relationship with cannabis. Turns out, Tyson is more than just a cannabis user, he’s also making his mark on the cannabis industry. When it comes to Tyson’s personal relationship with marijuana, he has stated that he uses cannabis to deal with a number of medical concerns including calming his nerves and reducing pain. After struggling with years of substance abuse, he considers cannabis to be a great alternative to highly-addictive opiates that many doctors prescribe for sports injuries and after surgeries.
The Ranch Companies
In 2016, Mike Tyson launched Tyson Holistic along with his business associates. The name of the business has recently been changed to The Ranch Companies, which owns and operates Tyson Ranch, KIND Music Festival, TR Processing, HotBoxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast, CBD-infused water brand Dwiink, CopperGel, and Cesar Milan’s CBD pet treats brand. At present, Tyson Ranch identifies as a packaging and licensing company. While a number of PR photos and videos posted to their Instagram depict Tyson inspecting various containers of weed, Tyson Ranch does not breed, grow, or handle their own cannabis on the premises. Rather, the company sells its packaging to producers who meet certain prerequisites. Tyson and his company insist that the strains that use Tyson Ranch packaging be grown indoors, harvested at peak maturity, cured for 30 days, hand-trimmed, pesticide-free, and lab tested.
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In 2018, Tyson Ranch also announced plans for a 418-acre mega-resort in California. The resort will be home to a hotel, spa, glamping area, events area, and the world’s longest lazy river. The resort is marketed as a holiday destination to promote health and wellness, and will also host “Tyson University” where the company plans to educate would-be cannabis growers and sellers on growing techniques and business practices.
In February 2019, Tyson hosted a pop-up music festival which included acts from A$AP Ferg, Miguel, and others as a preview of what the ranch has to offer. Tyson was seen on-site mingling with festival-goers. While the ranch is not officially open for guests, it is being used for cannabis research and development at present. Once open to the public, guests will be allowed to consume cannabis anywhere within the so-called “wonderland of weed” except where alcohol is sold, per local law. In a Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast episode, Tyson revealed that the company earns around $1 million per month and that he and his associates consume roughly $83,000 worth of cannabis in the same amount of time. Tyson hopes to both employ and assist veterans at the ranch by providing jobs and conducting research on how cannabis can help vets prevent or battle drug addiction upon returning home from service. Tyson stated, “I think they’ve given a lot to our country and we should give some back in return… Especially with all of the addiction that many of them come back with.” It’s clear that Mike Tyson has come a long way in his 54 years of life, and it seems that he has cannabis to thank for much of his recent success.
Despite stating that fighting was what fueled his often-erratic behavior, he recently competed in an exhibition match with former world champion Roy Jones Jr. and stated that he was open to additional matches with the likes of Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. His reaction to the judges’ decision to call the Tyson vs. Jones Jr. match a draw was certainly a far cry from the expected Tyson response, however. When asked how he felt about the draw, Tyson stated “I’m good with that...I entertained the crowd, the crowd was happy with it.” When asked if he was interested in returning to boxing professionally, he shot down the idea stating: "This is bigger than fighting and winning the championship...we're humanitarians and we're helping people." Another interesting revelation that surfaced from Mike Tyson’s most recent exhibition match was his use of marijuana before the fight. He also indicated that he smoked another joint after the fight and before his press conference. In his signature staccato delivery, he stated: "Listen, I can’t stop smoking...I smoked during fights. I just have to smoke, I’m sorry. I’m a smoker. … I smoke every day. I never stopped smoking...It’s just who I am...It has no effect on me from a negative standpoint. It’s just what I do and how I am and how I’m going to die. There’s no explanation. There’s no beginning, there’s no end."