Ex-Dolphin Ricky Williams launches marijuana brand
Former Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has launched his own marijuana brand.
The line called Real Wellness by Ricky Williams includes six products sold as salves, vape cartridges and tonics that contain “hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or a mix of both,” according to the company. They also contain extracts such as arnica, lavender and turmeric.
Williams said it’s a dream come true to merge his interest in healing and plant medicines into a business.
“I am known as a professional football player,” Williams said in a phone interview Monday. “In the last 14 years, I have been educating myself and training as a health care practitioner.”
Williams, who has studied herbalism and became a poster boy for marijuana use among athletes, said he thought the timing was right for his own brand because marijuana use is decriminalized in California, where he lives now.
“Surprisingly enough, our research found that the main demographic coming into the [cannabis] market are women ages 35 to 60,” Williams said from his home in Venice Beach. “Cannabis coming on the scene is a reemerging of herbalism back into our culture.”
For his new venture, he’s collaborating with OutCo, a Southern California medical marijuana dispensary and consulting firm, to develop the products.
Beginning today, they will be sold in dispensaries in San Diego, the Orange County area and Los Angeles. This spring, the line will be available online. Prices will range from $35-$70, depending on the product.
“Our larger plan in the future is to find manufacturing partners in other states,” Williams said.
Williams has been a longtime marijuana advocate. He was in the news recently when he Tweeted that he was hosting a cannabis friendly Super Bowl Party for 50 guests at a private residence that was rented in Hollywood Hills. Guests were allowed to bring their own weed. Because of the growing interest, the party grew to 150 people.
“It was a fun experience, it was a healing experience and it was a networking experience,” said WIlliams, 40. “And we were treated to a very good game.”
Last month, he also announced that he was partnering with sustainable hemp brand Superego, which produces hemp-based clothing.
But people still best know him for his football playing days. Williams won the 1998 Heisman Trophy and was a running back with the Dolphins beginning in 2002. During his time with the team, he was suspended by the NFL twice for marijuana use.
Williams said he does make it back to South Florida, at least six times a year. He has lived in Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach and Davie.
Last summer, he was a featured speaker at the “Pro Football, Pro Cannabis” event at the Southeastern Cannabis Conference and Expo at the convention center in Fort Lauderdale.