Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson is best known for a legendary boxing career (or perhaps his unmistakable face tattoo), he has made a name for himself in the commercial cannabis world since his retirement.
Tyson first broke into the industry in 2017 with a line of cannabis products called Tyson Ranch, with the intention of opening a weed-centered resort of the same name. That business is now closed, but Iron Mike was far from knocked out. He is now launching a new line of cannabis products in Colorado and elsewhere, aptly named Tyson 2.0, with a new team of veterans from the pot industry.
“Tyson Ranch failed because of poor management and just a lack of cannabis knowledge,” explains Tyson 2.0 CEO Adam Wilks. “Unfortunately, the management was not what it should have been. That’s why I’m here for Tyson 2.0, and I’m excited to launch Mike’s cannabis brand in earnest this time.”
Wilks entered the cannabis field in 2013 after working with licenses and royalties with companies such as Pinkberry, Cold Stone Creamery and fast food brands. Since then, he has launched or managed more than 32 cannabis brands in the United States and Canada, he says.
Tyson, Wilks and the rest of the team collaborated with Columbia Care Inc., a New York-based marijuana company that now owns 25 pharmacies in Colorado after acquiring Green Solution and Medicine Man, for cannabis cultivation and product manufacturing. By the end of 2021, Columbia Care will sell Tyson 2.0 products across its national dispensing network and at other retail partners, according to the company.
“Cannabis has always played an important role in my life. Cannabis has changed me for the better both mentally and physically, and I would like to share that gift with others who are also seeking relief,” Tyson said in a statement announcing his new ventures.
Tyson has been vocal about his personal cannabis use, from use it to calm his nerves before an exhibition match, to replace painkillers with cannabis-based relief. But what does it take for a pot product to be approved by Iron Mike? According to Wilks, Tyson prefers the most potent strains, though the brand also wants to cater for lower tolerances.
To cover the range of cannabis consumers, Tyson 2.0 will have three flower lines: greenhouse and sun-grown flowers with a slightly lower strength, indoor flower with higher strength and a special “Toad” series of top-shelf stems inspired by Tyson’s psychedelic toad-licking experiences. In some markets, like Colorado, Tyson 2.0 will also offer “Heavy Bags” (a playful nod to Tyson’s boxing past), which are 1-ounce bags sold for under $ 100 each. Tyson 2.0 will also sell pre-rolled joints, edible items, drinks and marijuana concentrates, according to Wilks.
Tyson 2.0 comes out of the gate with a licensing plan in sixteen states, with Colorado, California and Nevada being the first three states to carry Tyson 2.0 products. “Each state has its own cultivation facility, production facility and distribution centers, plus retail stores. We will have similar genetics and strains across the country, but each cultivator will be specific to their state until this becomes federally legal,” Wilks explains.
To celebrate the launch, Tyson 2.0 has planned various campaigns in each state that will carry the line, including signed Tyson equipment or the opportunity to join one of his podcast recordings.
“We’re doing a full tour and he’s going to perform in every state. It gives the client an opportunity to actually connect with Mike Tyson, and it’s a huge thing just to be able to meet him. It’s a great energy to be around,” he said. adds Wilks.
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