Celebrities Such as Mike Tyson Are Important to Lift Cannabis Stigma

Stephen Andrews
20 Aug 2021

The former boxing champ is part of the cannabis industry for a couple of years already. His drive to be part of the movement? He has said on one occasion: "I thought about how much good I could do by helping people with cannabis. It was a no-brainer."

God knows celebrities are important to endorse the social standings of cannabis. With millions of followers around the nation and the globe, celebrities the caliber of Mike Tyson (or Jay Z and Martha Stewart) have the power and capacity to change people's opinions by simply saying stuff like "CBD is good, you should give it a try." And with that, persuade a large group of people, some of whom are parents and grandparents, to accept cannabis and lift any stigma there might be about using it. 

Mike Tyson will forever be remembered as a heavyweight boxing champ, but he has changed jobs over the years, and since 2016 he is active in the booming cannabis sector. With Tyson Holistic Holdings, the former professional boxer is seeing success with a niche of CBD-rich products. 

Tyson's affection for cannabis stems from his personal use of the medicine. Speaking in interviews for the Vegas Cannabis Magazine and Cannabis & Tech Today, Tyson has praised cannabis as a medicine that helps him overcome injuries he had earned back in his boxing days. He has been through two surgeries because of those injuries and has been prescribed opiates for the pain. However, the now 55-year-old champ has found better comfort in cannabis and has been using it for two decades. 

 "The health benefits were so clear. As it continued to save me, I knew that everyone needed this kind of medicine," he is noted saying.

Cannabis helps him calm social anxiety and deal with anger, Tyson also said.

Asked whether one day he would become a cannapreneur, the boxing legend never thought he would actively engage in the industry. Nevertheless, he agreed to it the minute he was approached with the idea to launch a cannabis product company.

Tyson has a cannabis business empire.

In a matter of few years, Tyson has built a cannabis empire with his Tyson Holdings, which entails Tyson Holistic and Tyson Runch. The first of these two ventures invests in businesses that work with hemp products. The second entails Tyson's branded marijuana products, which he manufactures with the help of local growers.  

Tyson Ranch sells top-notch indica, sativa and hybrid marijuana flower, and also edibles and topicals. Perhaps one of the most notable Tyson products with a medical application is the CopperGel Ice. This topical analgesic helps for joint and muscle pain relief and conditions such as arthritis. 

The latest addition to Tyson's cannabis empire would be the Tyson Ranch project, which is an actual ranch of approx. 420 acres located in Southern California. The ranch is envisioned as a tourist attraction where recreational users can have fun, but at the same time, it will have a compound - the Tyson University - where those interested in cultivating cannabis can pick up some practical skills. 

Podcast gone viral 

Those who follow Tyson know that he also runs a podcast. Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson hosts A-list celebrities, including athletes and other talent. One of the podcast episodes recently went viral as it appeared the champ took a puff too much. 

In an episode that featured ex-UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tyson barely said a word despite co-host Henry Cejudo often asked him to share his thoughts on various topics in an attempt to make him speak. 

Twitter critics were quick to notice how high Tyson was. Some fans were disappointed judging by their comments that said Tyson wasted the talk opportunity with renowned fighter Nurmagomedov.

"Mike Tyson came to the Khabib podcast way too high. Ruined it for me, guy was barely awake," one follower said. Another tweeted that Tyson "wasted the Khabib interview. I know the podcast is called Hotboxin but what's the point of the podcast if you're too high to talk."

Despite the mixed reactions, other fans poked fun at Tyson being too stoned to talk and praised the legendary boxer.

The power of celebrities 

Whether they appear stoned or behave most professionally, celebrities make a difference. 

According to studies that have analyzed the impact of celebrity endorsement and declaration on just about anything - not only cannabis, a significant chunk of people follow what celebrities have to say on the matter. For instance, as one poll suggests, roughly 36% of Gen Z, 32% of Millennials, 24% of Gen X, and 19% of Baby Boomers admit that "celebrity opinions on political and social issues are effective in influencing their midterm vote." This is particularly important for those jurisdictions where cannabis legislation is prepared for the ballot.

More and more people, fortunately, are beginning to see clearly the benefits of cannabis. Cannabis as a new source of tax money has transformed municipalities that have struggled in the past. Cannabis has become a new significant source of jobs. And most notably, it's becoming the go-to wellness ingredient du jour. The plant is becoming a recognized, effective medicine for an array of serious medical conditions

While advocates and education play an important role to present all the different benefits of cannabis to the public, when a celebrity does that, it's an entirely different level of outreach. 

Stephen Andrews