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The Cannabis Catch-Up: Legal Weed a Boon for Former Football Star


Published March 23, 2018 at 4:13 p.m.

Ricky Williams in his playing days - JERRY COLLI/DREAMSTIME.COM
  • Jerry Colli/
  • Ricky Williams in his playing days
It’s funny how quickly things change regarding cannabis.

One of those laughing now is erstwhile football player Ricky Williams, who was suspended from the National Football League multiple times for testing positive for weed. The former Heisman Trophy winner is now making money in marijuana after launching a cannabis brand called Real Wellness by Ricky Williams, according to Bloomberg News.

“We’re taking the idea of medicinal marijuana to the next step,” he told the outlet. “Cannabis is real and it’s here, and a lot of people have no idea what they’re doing. I have a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge from my experiences and my studies to share.”

It’s a change of fortune for a guy who was once derided for throwing away his career in the NFL to explore his love for cannabis. At one point during his troubled tenure, Williams stepped away from the game to travel and study Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medicine system.

“The whole purpose of this for me is to help facilitate my public persona transitioning from being a former football player to being a healer,” he told Bloomberg. “It’s been difficult for people to appreciate who I am as a healer because of the success I had as a football player.”

Here are some other cannabis stories we followed this week:

March 19: Is secondhand cannabis smoke as bad — or worse — for you than secondhand cigarette smoke? One San Francisco researcher says it’s a strong possibility. [National Public Radio, Marissa Ortega-Welch]

March 22: Will we see a Smoke/Weed ticket in 2020? High-profile national Democrats are increasingly calling for legalization. [BuzzFeed News, Molly Hensley-Clancy]

March 23: Soon, cannabis dispensaries might be as commonplace as a Cinnabons. One Colorado dispensary is offering franchises to entrepreneurs.

"We hope to help people compliantly operate their business, without having to learn the expensive lessons of growing a cannabis dispensary,” Christian Hageseth, CEO of ONE Cannabis, said in a news release. [Entrepreneur]

March 23: Recent research found that states that legalized socially liberal policies, such as gay marriage and cannabis, experienced an increase in innovation, while socially conservative policies, such as the passage of abortion restrictions, had the exact opposite effect. [Harvard Business Review, Keyvan Vakili and Laurina Zhang]

March 23: Sorry, beer lovers. If you’re headed to the Vermont Brewers Festival at Killington this weekend, you won’t get a chance to try Long Trail’s Medicator, a CBD-infused IPA/pale ale hybrid. Blame the feds. [Seven Days, Sasha Goldstein]