'We view ourselves as boutique cannabis:' NFL Hall of Famer on new biz

·2 min read

Calvin Johnson Jr. dominated the gridiron to become one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. Now the man who was known as Megatron is looking to dominate the cannabis industry with his new company Primitiv. And much like the NFL, Johnson’s new business venture is a team effort. His former Detroit Lions teammate, Rob Sims, co-founded the company with the NFL Hall of Famer.

“Michiganders love their craft everything — from their beer onto their cannabis. We view ourselves as boutique cannabis. We call ourselves Primitiv because we believe that cannabis was originally medicine, hence the name Primitiv,” Johnson said. Primitiv products will be available at JARS Cannabis stores and at a variety of dispensaries throughout the state of Michigan.


Johnson tells Yahoo Finance that he is looking to bring 'a level of professionalism to cannabis.'

“So we truly believe in highlighting the plant’s healing powers and that’s what we’re here to do. This is to bring a level of professionalism to this industry operating at an excellent level while giving solutions to our people,” he said.

Johnson, who retired from the NFL after just 9 seasons because of chronic pain, says that things could have been different if the league had allowed players to use cannabis treatments, though he added that he is glad the NFL has since relaxed some of its wellness policies.

“Nowadays I believe it’s good for the players that they have relaxed the rules a little bit and allow them to maybe consume and heal their body in an alternative way than the opioids, and we know all the destruction that it does. So it’s just about creating an alternative way or holistic way that players can treat themselves.”

Calvin was quick to note that Primitiv products aren't just for NFL-caliber athletes, though helping athletes is at the heart of Johnson’s post-football career. In 2019, he and Sims partnered with Harvard University to research the benefits of medical marijuana to help chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and pain management.

“Our focus in that consortium is pain and CTE ... People deal with it [pain] on a daily basis. It doesn’t have to be the athlete, it can be any and every person. As with CTE we are trying to create solutions for our brethren — not only NFL players — you have other sports' athletes as well as veterans.”

Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.

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