Mike Tyson breaks ground on 40-acre marijuana ranch in California


From Iron Mike to Marijuana Mike? (Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA)

Mike Tyson is on the verge of becoming a heavyweight in California’s burgeoning marijuana industry. The former boxer and some business partners have broken ground on a 40-acre ranch in the state that they envision as a destination for growers and consumers of newly legal weed.

California, which had allowed licensed medical marijuana use, legalized recreational pot Jan. 1, and Tyson is looking to capitalize in a big way. The Blast reported Monday that the 51-year-old former heavyweight champion broke ground last month on a “cannabis resort” to be located in California City, a town in the Mojave Desert about a 110-mile drive north from Los Angeles.

The location is also a much shorter drive north from Edwards Air Force Base, and according to The Blast, “taking care of men and women who have served in the armed forces is a top priority” for Tyson Holistic, the company that will operate the resort, to be called Tyson Ranch. The Blast noted that cannabidiol, a marijuana extract that does not provide the “high” famously associated with tetrahydrocannabinol, has been used by some veterans to treat cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, and it is touted by advocates as having other therapeutic properties as well.

Tyson Ranch will reportedly set aside 20 acres for the cultivation of marijuana by “master growers,” while the property will also feature facilities to help the growers and those interested in becoming one. In addition, the ranch will offer an “edibles factory,” an amphitheater and areas for “glamping.”

The groundbreaking ceremony included two of Tyson’s business partners, Robert Hickman and Jay Strommen, and California City Mayor Jennifer Wood. She said the ranch would help engineer a “rebirth” for her town, a planned city that never flourished in the way its 1950s developers envisioned.

Hickman told The Blast that the “undeveloped lands” in California City “are primed to be cultivated.” The city has sought to boost its economy in recent years by attracting marijuana-related businesses.

Tyson has spoken in the past about using marijuana extensively during his boxing career, as well as having been addicted at times to cocaine. His October 2000 win by technical knockout over Andrew Golota was subsequently changed to “no contest” after Tyson tested positive for marijuana.