Mike Tyson earned a mint as a boxer, film star and most recently a public speaker, but it’s his latest transformation as a drug dealer that could set him up for life.
The former heavyweight champ, famous for delivering a knockout punch, has been selling cannabis products since 2016 through his Tyson Holistic label that are as potent as one of his uppercuts.
Tyson, 53, is believed to earn around £500,000-per-month ($A1m) through his business that offers premium marijuana strains, edibles and extracts, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“Iron Mike” is building a 418 weed-themed holiday resort that he hopes will be home to a music festival to rival Coachella, as well as the world’s longest lazy river.
And aside from a luxury hotel and the lure of ‘glamping’ tents, there will be a Tyson University on site that will aim to teach cannabis cultivation tips to wannabe farmers.
After years of substance abuse with drugs including cocaine, Tyson found comfort in marijuana, which is legal in California.
It made him, as he’s the first to admit, a much calmer person.
But it also encouraged him to partner up with businessman Rob Hickman four years ago, who pointed out what a difference weed has made to the ex-boxer’s life.
“It changed his life,” he told GQ. “He’s the perfect person.”
Buoyed by his discovery, Tyson also knew if it could aid him, then others would see the benefits too.
“I thought about how much good I could do by helping people with cannabis,” he told Cannabis Tech Today. “It was a no-brainer.”
Tyson Holistic’s goal is to engage in the debate of the healing properties of cannabis, and its ingredient CBD.
His company produces a CopperGel product, infused with CBD, that is clinically proven to provide relief from muscle joint pain and arthritis, as well as CBD doggie treats.
Tyson also invested his dough in CHILL, a company that makes CBD alkaline water.
He believes that CBD can help fight opiate addiction.
“I’ve been fighting for over 20 years, and my body has a lot of wear and tear,” he explained.
“I had two surgeries and I used marijuana to calm my nerves, and it would take the pain away …
“But before, they had me on those opiates, and those opiates had me all screwed up.”
On a recent episode of his Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast, he revealed that Tyson Holistic makes around $1m.
However he also confessed to smoking $A82,000 of his own supply every month.
In 2018, Tyson revealed his bold plan to expand his weed empire to a cannabis-themed theme park.
A map of the elaborate Tyson Ranch, built over 418-acres, showed off what punters can expect.
Described as the “wonderland of weed”, guests will be able smoke marijuana anywhere within the resort, except where alcohol is sold.
But rather than be a hotspot for spring breakers looking to get high, it’ll be a holiday destination that promotes health and wellness.
Weed will not be grown on the premises, only sold, as Tyson takes advantage of his partnerships with big marijuana retail companies.
Customers can opt to stay in the confines of a luxury hotel, or go for an upscale camping set-up.
The Tyson Ranch will also boast the world’s longest lazy river – a water ride that usually starts in a shallow pool and flows towards a river at a slow current, allowing guests to ride along on a raft.
Despite being head of a weed empire, Tyson doesn’t actually grow any of the marijuana himself.
According to the Tyson Holistic website, it is sourced and inspected to reach his high-standards before it is given his seal of approval.
He insists that his strains are grown indoors, harvested based on maturity, cured over 30 days to ensure natural flavonoids, naturally derived, hand trimmed, pesticide-free and lab tested.
Hickman revealed: “We’re not burdened with bad crops. We’re not burdened with legalities. We’re selling paper. Packaging. And market share.”
In February 2019, Tyson used his ranch to house a small pop-up music extravaganza he called the Kind Music Festival as a sign of things to come.
He walked around the site, greeting revellers, who enjoyed acts including Miguel and A$AP Ferg.
Of course, punters were allowed to smoke and they could watch the performers in comfortable bean bags placed around the field.
And there were plenty of food trucks dotted around the ranch, although only a small fraction the size of a football-pitch was used.
“Mike Tyson’s building a whole ranch out here, y’all!’ It’s gonna have the world’s longest lazy river! This s*** is serious!” the festival DJ shouted at the crowd before the party started.
This story first appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission.