Ricky Williams, whose NFL career was cut short because of his marijuana use, is now starting a cannabis wellness brand.
David Royse | LedeTree
Williams, a former Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Texas, said the brand, Real Wellness would be aimed at the “the health-conscious cannabis consumer.”
“It’s a dream come true for me to merge my passion for healing and my fascination with plant medicines with my entrepreneurial spirit,” Williams said in a press release put out by the company on Tuesday. “Cannabis has played an important part in my healing journey, and I feel a responsibility to share what I have learned in the process.”
Williams, now 40, played 12 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints. His best season was 2002, when he rushed for more than 1,800 yards and scored 16 touchdowns for Miami, both team records. He also played some minor league baseball.
Williams retired from the NFL after positive tests and a suspension for marijuana use. Right after his retirement, he enrolled in an alternative and holistic medicine school in California to study Ayurveda. During a short stint playing in the Canadian Football League, Williams had a side gig teaching yoga in Toronto.
After the NFL, Williams withdrew from public life for a time, and reportedly traveled around the world.
A Sports Illustrated article in 2016 called Williams “America’s most infamous stoner athlete,” but pointed out that the country seemed to be moving closer to Williams in its attitudes toward marijuana rather than Williams moving toward the country’s attitude. That same story said Williams wanted to become the face of cannabis and sports.
In the last couple of years, Williams has been flirting with activism around cannabis and entrepreneurship.
According to his new company, Williams is also working on a degree in Chinese medicine.
“Ricky is a pioneer and a visionary—he’s always been ten steps ahead of what’s trending especially as it relates to eastern approaches to wellness,” the company’s CEO, Linnea Miron, said in the statement. “While most cannabis-related brands are still catering to today’s recreational user, we’re developing a brand for tomorrow’s wellness user, who is primarily female and interested in alternative therapies.”
The company initially will focus on products containing hemp-derived CBD, which doesn’t produce a high, or THC, which does, or products that contain a mixture of both, including salves, tonics and vape cartridges.
“Most of our THC products, which is the compound known for producing a ‘high,’ contain lower amounts of THC than what’s typically found in the market,” the company says on its website. “Additionally, the formulations draw on the wisdom of multiple herbal pharmacopoeias by incorporating various herbal extracts like arnica, lavender and turmeric to support certain conditions.”
Some of the company’s offerings will be marketed to athletes, for recovery or performance.
The company plans to source its cannabis from California-based OutCo.
The company’s products will initially be available at dispensaries in Southern California.
Williams has also been involved in a cannabis-friendly gym in San Francisco, and the medical dispensary finder app Weedmaps.
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