Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight boxing champion of the world, launched his Tyson 2.0 cannabis line on Friday (Nov. 26) in Colorado, CNBC reports. “Iron Mike” teamed up with Columbia Care, one of the largest and most experienced multi-state operators in the medical cannabis industry according to its website, on his latest endeavor.
“Because of Mike Tyson’s passion for cannabis, and the insight he brought to this brand through his own positive outcomes, we knew we needed to bring this product line, which has such a broad appeal, to market as quickly as possible. We’re thrilled to be able to ramp up our partnership when we did,” Jesse Channon, Columbia Care’s chief growth officer, said in a statement. “It is also perfectly fitting that we are launching in Colorado, one of our largest markets, and look forward to leveraging our experience and scale to bring it to fruition across the country.”
Tyson recently told CNBC that cannabis makes him a “different person” and that he’s releasing his Tyson 2.0 cannabis to help people who are looking for emotional and physical relief. “It’s really all about the love of the medicine,” the chief brand officer of Tyson 2.0 said. “I put a great deal of time in agriculture and discovering the right strain.”
“I use it for life,” the 55-year-old added. “If I don’t use it for a week or three days, something of that capacity, I’m totally a different person. And I’m not a likable person.”
CNBC reports that the Tyson 2.0 brand will begin by selling 1-ounce bags of their product, which includes a variety of strains, for $89.95. The company also has plans to sell pre-rolls and 3.5-gram jars of flower in the next few months.
“He’s not just putting his name on a product. We won’t put product on the market unless Mike approves,” Tyson 2.0 CEO Adam Wilks told CNBC. Tyson is involved in the research and development process, Wilks added. “Mike actually gets to choose the strains that he prefers, the ‘Sour Diesel’ and ‘The Toad’ being some of his favorite strains.”
“My best strain is ‘Sour Diesel,” Tyson said. “It’s a powerful connection with the buyer.” Earlier this week, Malawi’s agriculture minister Lobin Low reportedly sent a letter to Tyson inviting him to become the face of the country’s cannabis industry to help bolster its tourism. The East African country legalized the growing of cannabis for medicinal purposes last year, but has not decriminalized recreational use.
CNN reports that the decision to invite Tyson to become the country’s cannabis ambassador has raised controversy with some Malawians — specifically the Centre for Public Accountability (CPA) who has accused the government of disregarding Tyson’s checkered past. Malawian Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson Gracian Lungu dismissed the criticism in a statement to CNN Friday (Nov. 26), saying: “Malawi as a nation believes that Mr. Tyson is a right and reformed person as he was released on parole… the moral appeal by some quarters, to continue holding Mr. Tyson to a wall of moral incapacity doesn’t hold water.”