Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson has received Michigan Licensing Board preliminary approval to start a medical marijuana business in suburban Detroit. Johnson is planning a medical marijuana dispensary, a grow operation and processing facility in Webberville, operating under the name of Michigan Community Collective.
Johnson, however, is not the first former athlete to jump into the cannabis business. Far from it. Here is a sampling of other athletes who have entered the medical marijuana business in recent years:
Joe Montana, Hall of Fame quarterback: Montana announced last month that his venture capital firm was involved in a $75 million investment in Caliva, a California marijuana company with a farm, retail store, distribution center and delivery service. The company also distributes its branded production in other retail outlets around California.
Ricky Williams, former NFL running back: A longtime pot advocate, Williams announced a cannabis wellness brand in 2018. He has also been a promoter for the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition.
John Salley, former NBA player: In addition to working as a vegan activist, the four-time NBA champion Salley is a marijuana entrepreneur. He opened his own cannibis brand, Deuces22, (after his NBA number) and has an ownership position in the cannabis test Company GreenSpace Lab.
Al Harrington, former NBA player: In a 2018 GQ story, the former NBA journeyman said he wanted to be the NBA’s first pot mogul. He started Harrington Wellness, purveyor of vapes, viola extracts and CBD products, made from the non-psychoactive part of the plant.
Lamar Odom, former NBA player: Odom announced in April 2018 that he was investing in Rich Soil Organics, a company that offered various cannabis-related products, including flowers, concentrates and extracts.
Floyd Landis, pro cyclist: In 2016, he opened a marijuana company in Colorado. In 2018, Landis said his cannabis business, called Floyd’s of Leadville, would sponsor a new UCI Continental Cycling team. Landis won the 2006 Tour de France but was disqualified for doping.
Ross Rebagliati, 1998 Canadian Olympic snowboarding gold medalist: Founder of Ross’ Gold, a Canadian medical marijuana company. In 1998, Rebagliati was disqualified when a blood test came back positive for marijuana. His medal was reinstated because marijuana wasn’t on the official list of banned substances at the Olympics.
Riley Cote, former NHL tough guy: Cote, who had 65 NHL fights, helped form Athletes for Care, a non-profit group advocating improved lives for athletes through alternative medicine. He is a spokesman for this group and owns a cannabis business, according to a 2018 Toronto Globe and Mail article.
Contributing: Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press