The government has appointed former World Boxing Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson as brand ambassador for local Industrial and Chemical Hemp, collectively known as Cannabis.
In a letter dated November 1 2021, Minister of Agriculture Lobin Clarke Lowe notifies Tyson of the appointment, saying it was in line with legislation which the government passed to legalise cannabis.
“This created opportunities for the legal cultivation of cannabis for both medicinal and industrial purposes and offering the country an opportunity to diversify the country’s agricultural production and potentially generating the much-needed foreign exchange,” the letter reads.
The letter also explains that Malawi needs partners to succeed in the project.
“In spite of all these perceived benefits, Malawi may not go it alone as the industry is complex requiring collaboration. I would therefore like to appoint you, Mr Mike Tyson, as Malawi’s Cannabis Branch Ambassador,” the letter reads.
Ministry of Agriculture publicist Gracious Lungu confirmed the development, saying Tyson was expected to visit Malawi last week.
“It is true that the government is facilitating the appointment of Mr. Tyson [Mike] as an ambassador for industrial hemp in the country due to his role in promoting products which are made from cannabis elsewhere. He will visit the country any time soon,” Lungu said.
He said Tyson would visit the country under the United State Cannabis Association, an off taker company which was engaged by the Malawi Government to help local farmers who are interested in cannabis farming with expertise before acquiring licences.
Lungu said, according to cannabis regulations of 2020, export of raw hemp is prohibited such that Tyson will help in promoting products which will be produced from industrial hemp locally.
“The idea by government is to have industries which will be processing products locally. So, for those products to be known abroad, we need to have a strong brand to help promote them. Among otherthings, we are expecting to have some cancers medicine produced locally once all arrangements are made,” he said.
According to marca.com, after retiring from boxing, Tyson has dedicated time to his own businesses, one of which has to do with cannabis plantation.
“His company is called ‘Tyson Ranch’ and is located in the US state of California, where marijuana use has been legalised since 2016.
“According to the publication Cheat Sheet, Tyson earns a staggering 500,000 dollars a month from the aforementioned business, although he has acknowledged on numerous occasions that he spends about 40,000 dollars on marijuana for himself and his guests,” the article reads.
Tyson became the youngest heavyweight boxing champion of the world in 1986, at age 20 and retired in 2005 with a record of 50 wins including 44 knockouts and six defeats.