Calvin Johnson used the highest stage reserved only for athletes at the pinnacle of his sport to share his passion for cannabis.
At his induction ceremony into the NFL Hall of Fame last April, the former Detroit Lions wide receiver—widely regarded as one of the best players ever at his position—spoke of a “primitive” and “healing” plant that helped him survive nine years of grueling physical punishment from some of the world’s hardest-hitting cornerbacks and linebackers.
He was talking, openly, about cannabis.
It was a stunning moment for the NFL community. The world’s most lucrative and popular sports league has long held a hardline anti-cannabis stance. Even now, testing positive for THC during the season lands players an automatic suspension.
“I’m a firm believer that the Lord put everything on this earth that we need to heal our body,” Johnson said in an interview with Cannabis Business Times. “I apply that to my food, my supplements and now my medicine.”
Inspired by his passion for the plant and personal need for physical healing, Johnson and former Detroit Lions teammate Rob Sims opened a cultivation facility in the nearby town of Webberville, Mich., back in 2019. After COVID-19 stalled the duo’s plans for a retail