Mike Tyson is apparently getting into the marijuana business. The former heavyweight champion recently broke ground on a 40-acre plot of desert in California, which he intends on turning into a cannabis resort that produces "high quality strains of THC and CBD," The Blast reports. Tyson also hopes to advance research on the health benefits of marijuana with the implementation of "cutting-edge technology."
According to the report, Tyson has gone into business with Robert Hickman and Jay Strommen to turn "Tyson Ranch" into a reality. While it's unknown when the ranch will officially open, Hickman told the site that the "undeveloped lands" in California City are "primed to be cultivated." A Tyson representative confirmed his involvement but did not release further details.
Jennifer Wood, who has been mayor of California City since 2014, thanked Tyson for his commitment to the community when he and his partners broke ground on December 20th. Wood said that she believes "Tyson Ranch" will bring medical marijuana to those in need as well as jobs, revenue and income for residents. The ranch is situated near Edwards Air Force Base – approximately 60 miles southwest of Death Valley National Park and 110 miles north of Los Angeles – and taking care of those who have served in the armed forces is a "top priority" for Tyson Holistic, the company that will operate the resort. Emails to California City representatives were not immediately returned on Wednesday.
"Thank you so much, sir, for your commitment to our community," Wood said to Tyson. "And thank you for your great people that you have working with you. They are very, very community-minded."
Recreational marijuana was legalized in California on New Year’s Day, paving the way for licensed growers such as Tyson to sell it legally. In his memoir “Undisputed Truth,” Tyson admitted to using marijuana during his boxing career.
Tyson has spoken publicly about using marijuana during his boxing career, and his October 2000 win by TKO over Andrew Golota was subsequently changed to "no contest" after Tyson tested positive for marijuana. He was also the subject of a 2008 documentary by director James Toback that attempted to repair his image. Last year, Tyson was denied entry into Chile for a promotional event. Chile's International Police tweeted that Tyson did not comply with immigration law, leading local media to believe that it had to do with a previous conviction, according to the The Washington Post. Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992 and served three years of a six-year sentence before being released on parole in 1995.