Over the past year, athletes across the globe have made waves and changed the cannabis game, using their platforms to normalize the conversation and break the stigma. Today we are taking a moment to highlight the Top 22 Athletes that led the Sports Cannabis Movement in 2022.
Sports Cannabis Top Honors and MVP of 2022, is entrepreneur, thought leader, cannabis advocate, Miami Hurricane legend and founder of Lion Order, Rohan Marley.
Rohan graduated from Miami Palmetto Senior High School in 1991 and went on to play football as a linebacker for the University of Miami Hurricanes. With a ferocious mindset, relentless work ethic and undeniable talent, Rohan made an instant impact on the field and set a Miami Hurricanes record, posting a team high, 95 tackles in a single season.
On April 20, 2022, visionary and son of Bob Marley, Rohan Marley launched Lion Order, a cannabis roots luxury lifestyle brand connected to the essence of life and the Rastafari culture. Changing the landscape of cannabis and moving the plant forward, Rohan is sharing the Lion Order movement with the world and using his platform to empower the cannabis Kings and Queens across the globe.
“Lion Order is a way for us to unite as a people, whether it’s with cannabis, water, psilocybin, coffee or food. We want to get together around a table, all different ethnicities, different religions, nations and have a real talk about life and love.”-R Marley
The cannabis industry much like the game of basketball is constantly evolving and growing at a rapid pace. Retired and active NBA athletes have dominated headlines advocating for plant-based modalities and creating unique brand offerings. NBA legend, entrepreneur, Founder of Viola Brands and Re+Play, Al Harrington is using his platform to change the perception of cannabis and is focused on providing opportunities for individuals of color.
Harrington was selected 25th overall in the ’98 NBA draft, playing 16 seasons for the Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors, Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.
Moving the conversation forward on the court, Al Harrington is changing the landscape for athletes across the country with the announcement of Re+Play as the official partner of the NBPA, the National Basketball Players Association.
“The sky’s the limit. It’s a good thing the NBPA is the first to allow this to happen. It will open doors for players to now have access to CBD and eventually THC products. This is a monumental step forward, not just for my brand but for the entire sports world.”-A Harrington
Retired NFL global icon, cannabis entrepreneur and advocate Calvin Johnson made waves in 2022, teaming up with former teammate Rob Sims to create Primitiv Performance.
Johnson played nine seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions. Nicknamed Megatron, he’s regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers of all time. His career highlights include three-time all Pro, six-time Pro Bowl Team, the leading receiver two years in a row 2011’12, held the title for most receptions in 2012, co-lead the NFL for receiving touchdowns ’08 and was recently voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
From the field to the boardroom, Calvin Johnson is using his platform to advocate for cannabis and push education forward. Johnson and Sims founded Primitiv Performance, a cannabis company focused on the advancement of cannabis as a form of elevated wellness and improving the quality of life for those in pain.
“A big part of why we want to dive into cannabis and really get to understand the healing powers of this plant is because it’s been deemed illegal for so long…”-C Johnson
Ricky Williams ultimately discovered the healing properties of Cannabis after retiring, partnering in the plant to help manage pain, injuries and the stresses of being an elite professional athlete.
Eager to learn more, Ricky Williams traveled to the Himalayas in pursuit of a deeper understanding of cannabis and its healing properties. After years of research and development, Williams released Highsman, a company focused on providing premium quality cannabis, accessories and apparel.
Shifting the Sports Cannabis conversation, Ricky has used his platform to change the narrative, spark education and move the plant forward;
“The end result is to normalize it, but I think the plan is bigger than normal. Greatness isn’t normal—it’s something that’s unique and special, even if it’s just the message. To me I keep coming back to messages like the value of feeling good and sparking greatness.”-R Williams
Former football legend and son of Rohan Marley, Nico Marley has taken health and wellness to new heights with Lion X Wellness, a brand inspired by his family legacy.
Following in his father’s footsteps, Nico fell in love with football, playing it throughout high school and making a name for himself at Tulane University before taking his talents to the NFL. Shortly after retiring from professional football, Nico shifted gears and created Lion X Wellness, a health and wellness brand focused on nutrition and premium CBD-based products.
“We officially launched LION X WELLNESS earlier in the year and are moving natural healing forward with our diverse wellness product range… I’ve always been a huge advocate for natural healing and modalities around recovery and the use of CBD topicals.”-N Marley
Jacob “Jesus of Golf” Golliday
Professional Long Driver, Cannabis advocate and entrepreneur, Jacob Golliday is the face of change in Golf.
As golf enters a rapid transformation, new athletes are disrupting traditional culture and infusing the sport with color, young spirits, long drives and green moments. Swinging for the green, Jacob is leading the charge and today has partnered with close friends and industry titans to create Par-Tee Tour, an event that aims to change the culture of golf with an infusion of life, music and epic in person experiences.
“I saw the movement of cannabis and saw the movement of golf and realized the two were mingling and decided to combine them, normalize them and provide education on the entire plant. Having an opportunity to be on the course, play golf and smoke grass was when it really registered that the two go hand in hand. After that I decided it was time to introduce golf to cannabis.”-J Golliday
Retired UFC/MMA Icon, World Champion, Cannabis and Psychedelic Advocate, Ian McCall is paving the path for athletes and patients outside of the octagon, fighting for change and using his platform to break the stigma.
Today, Ian has dedicated his life to spreading education, moving Cannabis and Psychedelic research forward, and creating unique content to provide a ripple of laughter, joy and humor to the Cannabis/Psychedelic conversation.
“These medicines truly saved my life… It takes away my anxiety, and for me mixing in cannabis and microdosing has been a huge thing for my life and workouts… That’s why today I teach education and understanding for performance with psychedelics and cannabis…”-I McCall
Keir Dillon spent his professional snowboarding career specializing in the half-pipe and is regarded by many to be one of the world’s best riders. He accumulated Two Bronze Medals at the Winter X Games for the Snowboard Superpipe, took back-to-back Gold Medal victories at the World Superpipe Championships in 2004’05, secured a 2nd and third place finish in the United States Open and much more.
Pushing for education, mental health awareness and a transparent conversation, Keir has used his platform to share his journey with Cannabis and the pivotal role it’s played in his life. Moving the Sports Cannabis conversation forward he discusses the relief it’s provided him as well as how it’s helped him manage anxiety, stress, panic attacks and regain a normal life without resorting to pharmaceuticals.
“Today I’ve been able to replace traditional pharmaceuticals with cannabis. I find it’s most effective for me towards the end of the night… It helps my brain relax, mellow out and get a good night’s sleep without any adverse side effects…”-K Dillon
From the snow slopes to the boardroom, Keir Dhillon is changing the way we think of cannabis marketing and has founded Dillon Agency, a company focused on cannabis branding and creating luxury lifestyle brands for innovative cannabis companies.
Professional Soccer Icon, Gold Medalist, cannabis entrepreneur and advocate Alex Morgan joined a team of athletes co-founding CBD company Just Live.
Known around the world for her speed, strength and scoring ability, Alex made headlines again advocating for CBD. Morgan has endured her fair share of injuries and today has partnered with Klay Thompson, Travis Pastrana and Paul Rodriguez to create Just Live, a CBD company that caters to fitness enthusiasts and athletes of all levels looking for natural, clean alternatives.
“I had a convincing experience when I sprained my shoulder and had a match 3 days later. I applied a CBD roll-on oil multiple times a day as a Hail Mary to play as pain free as possible, and on game day, I woke up to minimal pain…”-A Morgan
Changing the conversation, and shedding light on the profound effects the plant can have for an athlete, Alex talks about partnering in CBD at night helps her recover and feel fresh for the next day.
“The CBD tincture is an important part of the recovery process for me after practices and games. I find it works best when I use it during my nightly routine for bed…”-A Morgan
Global NBA icon, Cannabis advocate and entrepreneur, Kevin Durant’s made waves across the world, announcing a collaborative content partnership with Weedmaps.
Kevin Durant career highlights include; twelve-time NBA All-Star honors, two NBA championships, a NBA Most Valuable Player Award, Two Finals MVP Awards, Two All-Star game MVP Awards, four NBA scoring titles, the NBA rookie of the year award and has amassed Two Gold Medals.
With Cannabis coming to the forefront and leagues adopting new policies, athletes like Kevin Durant are betting big on Cannabis. Considered by many to be one of the best NBA players, Kevin Durant is winning off the court as an entrepreneur and investor with an eye for tech and emerging industries.
Shifting the narrative and changing the conversation, Kevin Durant’s dropping Cannabis dimes for the Sports Cannabis community;
“To me it clears the distractions out of your brain a little bit, settles you down, it’s like having a glass of wine.”-K Durant
Darryl “D Rey” Reynolds
Former NCAA Champion, Cannabis advocate, thought leader, TEDX speaker and author Darryl Reynolds is changing the game as the host of #SportsCannabisShows The Halftime Report.
Darryl Reynolds played high school basketball for Lower Merion and was immediately recognized for his defense, rebounding, dominating the post and having an unstoppable offensive game with an ability to drain buckets at will. After making a name for himself in high school, Darryl took his talents to Villanova University, posting an incredible career and winning a 2016 NCAA Championship. Shortly after graduating, Darryl went on to play for the NBA Philadelphia 76ers summer league team before heading to Poland for a professional basketball career.
Today he’s using his platform to normalize the Sports Cannabis conversation, helping others through his journey, sharing his experiences and the pivotal role cannabis has played in his life.
“I started to figure myself out at a different rate because of cannabis which trickled over into the game, contributed to my basketball play and helped me reach a higher level of consciousness…”-D Reynolds
From the field to the boardroom, Mike James is changing the narrative with a focus on health, wellness and Lion Order. Since retiring Mike James has led the Sports Cannabis charge with the development of policy and furthering cannabis education.
Mike James made a name for himself on the field dominating as a running back with the Miami Hurricanes before taking his talents to the NFL playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as the Detroit Lions. After sustaining an injury Mike James partnered in Cannabis for medical reasons and became the first NFL Athlete to apply for therapeutic use exemption;
“In 2018 I was the first athlete in NFL league history to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption…Despite being denied I have continued to push the conversation forward through advocacy and education…”-M James
Skating to break the stigma, normalize the conversation and push for change, Bethany Semeiks is moving the needle forward and paving the path for athletes around the world.
For 8 years Bethany Semeiks was known as the “B-Train” dominating Women’s Roller Derby and today she’s using CBD to help with sleep, recovery and relief. With an opportunity to shift the perception, Bethany’s using her platform to move timely topics to the forefront, create awareness and advocate for cannabis.
“As long as WADA bans all cannabinoids except CBD isolate, overall adoption will stand still. I would love to see all cannabinoids as available in every professional, college and hobby sports locker as Advil.”-B Semeiks
NBA Legend, Hall of Famer, Cannabis advocate and entrepreneur, Ben Wallace has continued his reign of success off the court and signed a licensing agreement with Rair cannabis company.
Wallace played in the NBA for 16 seasons with career highlights that include; NBA Blocks Leader in 2002, 2x NBA Rebounding Leader, 5x NBA Defensive Player of the Year, 2x All-NBA Third Team, 3x All-NBA Second Team, 4x NBA All-Star, an NBA Championship in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons and in 2021 was the first undrafted NBA player to be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.
As a nod to his career and induction into the NBA Hall of Fame, Ben released “Undrafted”. With an opportunity to normalize the conversation, Ben’s used his platform to advocate for cannabis and the relief it can provide former pro athletes;
“As a former pro athlete, I’ve got aches and pains and different stresses than before. Cannabis has helped with all that, safely.”-B Wallace
NBA Champion, Cannabis advocate and entrepreneur Klay Thompson splashed into the Cannabis Industry as the Co-Founder of Just Live, a community-based wellness and lifestyle CBD brand.
Klay’s career highlights include; being selected to the NBA All-Rookie Team, NBA Three Point Comp Champion, NBA all Defensive Team, 2x All-NBA Third Team, 5x NBA All-Star and a Three-time NBA Champion with the GSW.
Klay’s dealt with his fair share of injuries and today is advocating for CBD and a clean healthy lifestyle. Today he’s partnered with Alex Morgan, Travis Pastrana and Paul Rodriguez to create Just Live, a product line which caters to fitness enthusiasts and athletes of all levels looking for clean, natural alternatives.
“Whether it’s winding down after a game, working through muscle pain, or recovering from an injury, CBD is a natural one-stop-shop that allows me to prioritize my physical and mental health.”-K Thompson
Bellator World Champion, MMA Legend and Cannabis Advocate Liz Carmouche is leading the fight to break the stigma and normalize the Sports Cannabis conversation.
Liz Carmouche’s career highlights include; Bellator Women’s Flyweight World Champion as well as competing for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the Women’s Flyweight and Women’s Bantamweight divisions. Before turning her attention to MMA, Liz spent five years in the Marine Corps as an aviation electrician and completed three tours of duty.
Today, she is a constant force and continues to move the sports cannabis conversation forward, advocating for CBD education and awareness.
“My Ah-ha moment for cannabis relief came in trying hemp meds. I used a tincture and slept the best I had in years. I awoke with that realization that it was achieved because of CBD.”-L Carmouche
Professional Hockey Athlete, Cannabis Advocate and Entrepreneur, Kevin Tansey is making a play for CBD and has created Impactive High Performance.
After graduating from Clarkson University, Kevin Tansey began his career as a professional hockey player, playing 3 years in North America, with The Chicago Wolves, Grand Rapids Griffins, Stockton Heat, Toledo Walleye, Kansas City Mavericks. After 3 years he decided to move overseas to play internationally with Czechia, Austria, Slovakia and Denmark.
When he’s not lacing up the skates, he’s working on Impactive High Performance, a CBD company he created with a past teammate that aims to reduce the use of painkillers in sports. Focused on health and wellness, Kevin’s leading the charge off the ice, helping athletes across the globe heal and recover faster. Over the past year he’s used his platform to advocate and normalize the Sports Cannabis conversation and joined the Shake Podcast to share his journey.
“I wanted the benefits of cannabis without being stoned… That’s when I discovered CBD in my first year as a pro…”-K Tansey
Retired NFL legend, cannabis entrepreneur, visionary and founder of All Pro Farms, Bo Scaife is paving the way for athletes across the country, using his platform to advocate for cannabis.
Scaife played college football for the University of Texas Longhorns and received First-Team All-Big 12 honors before being drafted to the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Bo Scaife played 8 years in the NFL, dominating the field and set a record as the only tight end in NFL history to rush for a touchdown, catch a touchdown, return a kickoff and record a tackle in the same season.
Today he is moving the Sports Cannabis conversation forward through advocacy, education and has created All Pro Farms, a unique cannabis company that’s propelling the cannabis industry forward.
“I just love creating products that help people relax and provide a sense of relief so that they can make the best decisions for themselves and whatever they’re taking on…”-B Scaife
Retired Rugby legend, cannabis advocate, ambassador and educator Anna Symonds is changing the way we think about plant based modalities through transparent conversations and an emphasis on education.
Anna Symonds dominated the field with highlights that include; a USA Rugby Div 1 National Championship, a Sydney (Aus) Premiership Championship, and 4 national championships in the sport of Touch Rugby along with representing the USA Women’s Team at the 2015 Touch Rugby World Cup.
Since retiring, Anna has taken her talents off the field advocating for plant-based modalities and sharing a much needed dose of education as a speaker and thought leader. Today, she’s leading the charge as the PM for the Etheridge Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting scientific research into plant and nature-based treatments for opioid use disorder.
“Cannabis helps me physically, mentally and emotionally by offering rest, recovery and a helpful change in perspective…”-A Symonds
In 2016, Eugene Monroe was the first active NFL player to openly advocate for medical cannabis, speaking about the profound effects it’s had on his life as well as promoting education and pushing for normalization. Eugene played seven seasons in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens. Eugene has become a lead advocate for medical cannabis research, policy reform in the NFL.
“Cannabis has replaced the need for pharmaceutical pain meds and anti-inflammatories… I don’t consume any other medication other than cannabis…”-E Monroe
Since retiring Eugene Monroe has led the charge off the field and early on received approvals for cultivating and manufacturing in New Jersey’s Cannabis adult-use market. Focused on moving the cannabis industry forward Monroe co-founded Green Thumb Industries a company that explores safe, premium quality cannabis products. Today he is putting a premium on empowering entrepreneurs of color with Heart Community Capital, which provides roadmaps, resources and funding to Black and Brown-owned Cannabis Startups.
Rachael Rapinoe has set out to break stereotypes and lay a new basis for herself. Her vision is clear, create an unparalleled cannabis company and help athletes across the US. Growing up in a sports-focused household, Rapinoe had reservations around cannabis and did not use it during her professional soccer career. It was only after she walked away from the field, that she discovered the profound effects of CBD and the pivotal role it can play for athletes of all backgrounds.
Today, Rachael is leading the charge with Mendi, creating invaluable products for the athletic community as well as pushing educational initiatives to the forefront.
“Our mission with Mendi is to empower athletes and active lifestyles with tools to thrive naturally. We hope to build a brighter future for all in this journey…”
Former Brock Badgers USPORTS- Canadian University Hockey Athlete turned cannabis industry professional Ryan Purvis is leading the charge as an outspoken advocate and the host of #SportsCannabisShows the Shake podcast.
Ryan Purvis grew up a sports enthusiast and ultimately fell in love with Hockey at a young age. With an undeniable talent and a strong appreciation for the game, Ryan made a name for himself on the ice at Brock University. Shortly after graduating with a degree in Kinesiology Ryan took his talents off the ice to pursue a career in the Cannabis industry as the Director of Operations at Unplugged.
Today, he’s shifting the narrative and pushing for transparent conversations, using his platform to share his Sports Cannabis journey and break the stigma;
“My ah-ha moment was seeing the positive effects on my mental health when starting to consume regularly in the evenings. Being able to unwind and ease my mind with cannabis started to shift my perspective on a lot of things.”-R Purvis
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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