Mike Tyson is a man of many talents, but one particular set of skills is heralded above all others by his fans — the ability to knock highly trained heavyweight fighters to the ground.
With a record of 50 wins (44 by knockout) and only six losses in his career, it’s no wonder many boxing pundits consider him one of the greatest of all time.
In his prime, it’s hard to argue anyone could have taken down “the baddest man on the planet.”
But such singular focus on organized violence can wear on the psyche. According to Tyson, if the beast within him comes out “hell comes with it.”
The former heavyweight champion has been candid about his struggle with his temper, stating in a recent interview with Cannabis & Tech Today that his family and anyone around him could be caught up in his rage.
“You can ask my wife and kids five years ago how I was, and you can ask them now,” Tyson said. “They didn’t like me five years ago. My family didn’t like me. You know what that feeling’s like, your kids not liking you saying ‘Hello,’ and ‘Good morning,’ in the morning?”
When he started to use cannabis as a medicine, Tyson’s countenance changed, and he became more centered and mindful. The plant also helped him stop using other potentially harmful chemicals.
“By me using cannabis to stop the hardcore stuff, I have a relationship with my children and family now,” Tyson said. “My kids used to see me and leave the house. When I came home, my wife and kids left the house, even the cleaning people.”
According to Tyson, the plant can bring people with even the most hardened hearts to a more peaceful state of mind.
“Marijuana’s only going to make you love somebody. You could be in the room with a couple of gang members who don’t know each other. If you give them some liquor and cocaine, they’re going to kill each other. You give them some cannabis, they’re going to start taking selfies and shit.”
The introduction of entheogens — natural drugs with spiritual benefits — into Tyson’s life also contributed to his change in lifestyle.
“I’ve never felt as healthy in my life, I’ve never felt as clear in my life,” Tyson said during a 2021 interview with Forbes.
“I tried 5-MeO-DMT, the God molecule, and my whole life changed. I lost 100 pounds. I started fighting people again, at 55. Everything started to change from a business perspective, from a health perspective, and from an ideology perspective as far as the clarity of my thinking. I didn’t know I could feel this good at 55.”
Medicinal psychedelics even helped him face his mortality from a new perspective.
“It allows you to become comfortable with death,” he said in 2019 on The Joe Rogan Experience.
A Hero’s Journey
The appreciation for cannabis and entheogens Tyson has, and the positive effect they have had on his life has led to a new chapter for him. Tyson founded his first cannabis company, Tyson Ranch, in 2018. As the name suggests, it operated out of his 40-acre cannabis ranch in California.
The ranch failed in 2021, but not one to bow down to the specter of failure, Tyson has built on his experience in the industry with a successful new line of products.
The birth of Tyson 2.0 in 2021 has been a marked success, shown by the partnerships and distribution the company has brought to bear. Tyson’s climb to the top of the cannabis industry resembles that of a hero’s journey, as Tyson makes allies of former rivals and brings celebrities of similar iconic status into the fray.
One of Tyson’s best-selling products is a THC edible shaped like an ear with the top corner missing — a clear nod to the time when Tyson, in one of the most gruesome acts seen in the world of professional sports, bit off part of opponent Evander Holyfield’s ear in the third round of their bout.
Decades after the fight, with tensions long dissipated by time and the clarity that accompanies it, Tyson approached Holyfield about the concept of creating an edible in homage to the infamous incident on the podcast Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson.
“You might be in business because we’re going to make some holy ears. Some edibles [of the ear] that got a bite taken out of ’em,” Tyson said.
Holyfield responded by stating, “Well, I could do that.”
Shortly after the addition of Mike Bites, legendary wrestler Ric Flair joined the Tyson 2.0 team, signing over his iconic brand and trademark catchphrases.
Soon, the team was “jetflying” and “limousine riding” their way to prominence in space.
The Tyson 2.0 brand is now available across 14 states including Colorado, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Delaware, Michigan, Illinois, Washington DC, Maryland, Ohio, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Oregon, with more states to be added throughout the rest of the year.
Flagship strains Toad and Sonoran Toad harken back to Tyson’s roots as a cannabis and psychedelic enthusiast and advocate. The Sonoran Toad is a species that secretes 5-MEO DMT from its glands. The venom is then dried and smoked.
Since his experience with 5-MEO DMT was so profound and life-changing, it is no surprise he named one of the brand’s strains after the toad which naturally produces the chemical. It seems as though Tyson has come full circle after many years of searching.
Like Alexander the Great, once he conquered the known world he slipped into a comfort that at times turned to decadence and indulgence. But like Alexander, I still sought the battle.
However, Tyson may ultimately be a better man than Alexander, as he has learned to navigate the path between warrior and self-actualized human being; a path that requires a great amount of self-analysis and reflection.
Cannabis is one of the tools he used to achieve a renewed and more complete sense of self, which is why his brand continues to thrive. Authenticity is the hallmark of a great brand, and it is a quality that Tyson exudes.