Mike Tyson's Making a New Career Move: Marijuana Farming

On January 1, marijuana officially became legal in California. On that day came the announcement that former boxing champ Mike Tyson is breaking ground on a 40-acre marijuana farm in California City. The massive compound is expected to revolutionize the marijuana industry. This won't be just a working farm; it will be part high-tech farm, part research lab, and part pot-themed resort for adults.

Tyson broke records when he became the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history, and he's looking to break records again now that his boxing career is over. Marijuana seems like the logical choice, as the former athlete was fined $200,000 in 2000 when he tested positive for using pot. He also admitted in his memoir that he liked to get high before matches and employed ways to trick the drug testing system.

The Tyson Ranch is owned by 'Tyson Holistics' and has trademarked the term 'Iron Mike Genetics'. Along with business partners Robert Hickman and Jay Strommen, Tyson is building an empire that will grow marijuana in state-of-the-art conditions to ensure a high-quality product. About 20 acres of the farm will have climate-controlled growing conditions.

“[The facility] will allow master growers to have maximum control of their environment,” said Hickman to The Blast.

The other 20 acres will have an extraction facility, an edible factory, a hydro-feed plant and supply store, camping (or more accurately, ‘glamping’) facilities, cabins, a garden with a water feature and an amphitheater. The facility will not just grow and sell marijuana, but study and work to advance the utilization of the herb for various purposes.

There will also be a "Tyson Cultivation School."
California is the sixth state to legalize the recreational use of pot, but it had been on the forefront of the medical marijuana movement for years. It's been legal to sell and consume marijuana for medicinal purposes in the state for more than 20 years.

California City Mayor Jennifer Wood came to the ground-breaking to support the new facility, which she fully endorses. The small town with a population of about 15,000 is expected to flourish due to the new facility.

"We have now an industry that's going to provide medical cannabis to people in need, and also provide jobs, revenue, income for a lot of people that work in our city," said Mayor Wood at the groundbreaking. She expects the sleepy little city to experience a ‘rebirth’.

By the look of it, Tyson’s new empire could do for California City what Walt Disney did for Orlando.

This opportunity could be a rebirth for Tyson as well, who has had more than his share of woes over the years. Even before his boxing career, Tyson was getting into legal trouble. He served three years in prison for raping an 18-year-old beauty queen in a hotel room in Indianapolis in 1991. He was banned from professional boxing after biting off the ear of Evander Holyfield in the ring and he ended up going bankrupt in 2003.

In a USA Today interview in 2005, Tyson revealed, "My whole life has been a waste – I've been a failure." He continued: "I just want to escape. I'm really embarrassed with myself and my life. “

At the time he said he was thinking about becoming a missionary, but that never came to fruition. In 2007, he was arrested for cocaine possession. He was sentenced to just one day in jail.

Since then, Tyson has been doing endorsements, acting and staying in the limelight. This could be the break he’s been waiting for.
Source: NY Daily News
Photo: Rolling Stone, NY Daily News, Vice

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