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Top 40 Most Influential Athletes in the Cannabis Industry

Joe  Montana

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Montana is part of a $75 million investment in the cannabis brand Caliva. Montana’s involvement was through his venture capital firm, but he said he was investing in an industry he thinks “can provide relief to many people and can make a serious impact on opioid use or addiction.”

Hall of Fame, Super Bowl Champion

By Reginald Grant, MS Ed. , October 22, 2020

Paul Pierce

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Paul Pierce launched his own CBD line called ‘The Truth’Pierce’s “The Truth” line and aforementioned vaporizer, Vesper, will be sold exclusively on Eaze Wellness, an online CBD marketplace that ships to customers over 21 years old in 42 states and Washington, D.C.

Hall of Fame, NBA Champion

Liz Carmouche

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She’s currently partnered with the hemp oil company, HempMeds. she is also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and the first openly gay female to compete inside the famous cage. She uses CBD to heal faster and to train harder.

Carmouche, aka the “Girl-illa” MMA

Al Harrington

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The Indianapolis Star called Al Harrington a “marijuana tycoon.” Why? Well because of his Viola brand, a vertically integrated cannabis company named after Harrington’s grandma. According to the Star, Harrington is about to raise funding for a $100 million valuation.

Retired 16 year NBA player

Dr. Julie Anthony

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Dr. Julie Anthony is a ITA Hall of Famer. She played for Stanford, and helped establish World Team Tennis in 1974. She earned a doctorate in clinical psychology.Anthony nows works as a sports psychologist. She is a member of Athletes for Care and is an advocate for cannabis.

Tennis Hall of Fame

Elias Theodorou

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Canadian MMA fighter

Elias Michael Theodorou is a Canadian mixed martial artist of Greek descent. He competed for the UFC in the Middleweight division and won The Ultimate Fighter Nations: Canada vs. Australia.  The Canadian "Cannabis Act," prohibits athletes from being sponsored by cannabis companies. He is an outspoken advocate for medical marajuana and recreational legalization in Canada. 

Rico Lamitte

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Former NCAA athlete

TEDx Speaker. Emcee. Host. Consultant. Advocate. Activist. Leader. Trendsetter. Always me. High Times named him one of the 100 most influential in the Cannabis Industry. Co-Founder and Market Leader of CannaGather Orange County, OC's Cannabis Community. Each month we meet on the third Wednesday with the best of the best our industry has to offer to educate, network, and thrive in the greatest industry on Earth.  Founder and CEO of Los Angeles' Greatest Monthly Networking Community.

Ricky Williams

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The athlete perhaps most associated with cannabis finally turned his advocacy into business action. Last year, Ricky Williams founded Real Wellness brand, a line of products that infuses cannabis with holistic and Eastern medicinal practices.

Retired 12 year NFL veteran

Rob Gronkowski

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NFL player, 3x Super Bowl Champion

Gronkowksi announced that the next phase of his post-NFL career will include a partnership with CBD products company CBDMedic to create a line of topical pain treatments using the cannabis-derived compound. Gronkowski said in a press conference that his father first introduced him to a CBDMedic topical cream for use as a pain reliever (his father uses it for back pain), 

Kyle Turley

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The former pro football player spent eight years as an offensive lineman and helped found Neuro XPF, a hemp-derived cannabis supplement. Turley stated that Cannabis saved his life; Turley continues to raise awareness about the medicinal value of cannabis . 

Retired NFL player

Nora Beck

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Sponsored by Tokyo Starfish, she sends the company videos and photos throughout the winter. She also wears their T-shirts and hoodies and markets them to snowboarding fans on her social media. The owners of the Oregon-based dispensary Tokyo Starfish all previously worked in the snowboarding industry before they transitioned into opening a dispensary. 

Professional snowboarder 

Megan Rapinoe & Sue Bird

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Olympic Soccer  star & WNBA star

Mendi, a CBD startup company, has “athlete ambassadors” who help promote their products, including soccer player and Women’s World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe, and her girlfriend, WNBA player Sue Bird. The athlete ambassadors receive Mendi products to promote on their social channels and attend Mendi events. The company was founded by Rapinoe’s twin sister, Rachael, who is also a former pro soccer player. Although CBD is banned in the WNBA, Bird uses it in her off-season. 

John Salley

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In 2019, along with his daughter Tyla, Salley launched Deuces 22, a cannabis brand that focuses on selling high-quality cannabis while focusing on health and wellness. Tyla, is the CEO and president.

Dueces 22

16 year NBA & 3 time NBA Champion

Eric Rice

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Eric is CEO of Quanta, an applied science company, focused on enhancing energy levels in plant matter, including hemp and cannabis, to increase performance within the human body.

Retired professional baseball player

Eugene Moore

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Advocate for cannabis, In March 2016, Monroe became the first active National Football League (NFL) player to openly advocate for cannabis use to treat sports-related injury and chronic pain.

Retired NFL player

Floyd Landis

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He founded Floyd’s of Leadville, a company that produces CBD products intended to ease pain and inflammation. “For years I relied on opioid pain relievers to treat my hip pain. With cannabis, I find that I can manage my pain and have a better quality of life. We need to give people a safer alternative.”

Retired cyclist & Tour deFrance Champion

Katina Morales

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Katina Morales is the owner and creator of Betty Khronic, a line of vegan energy bars. She now helps other athletes incorporate cannabis into their healthy lifestyle through her line of infused energy bars.

Former distance runner

Greta Gaines

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She became the first female champion snowboarder, and the only woman to compete in the World Extreme Snowboarding Championship in 1992. Gaines founded The Hempery, a hemp-based skincare line. She is also an active member of Women Grow.

Singer and former fly-flisher, and extreme snowboarder.

Cliff Robinson


He is also the founder of Uncle Spliffy, and he is a member of the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana in Connecticut. Robinson is dedicated to raising awareness of the racial injustice and disparities created by the War on Drugs. He regularly lobbies in favor of cannabis legalization.

Retired NBA all-star, 16 year vetran

Avery Collins

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Collins is sponsored by The Farm Marijuana Dispensary. Collins is the only endurance runner that’s sponsored by a cannabis company. He runs in competitions that range from 50-200 miles per day.  


The Diaz Brothers

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The MMA fighters are unabashed cannabis users – and have been for a least a decade. They’ve built several partnerships, and launched GameUp, a CBD-infused, plant-based super nutrition company.

MMA fighters

Nate Jackson

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He co-hosts the “Caveman Poet Society Podcast” (formally the “Mindful Warrior Podcast”). He’s a member of Athletes for CARE,  Jackson is outspoken about the benefits of cannabis for athletes, and for veterans. 

Retired NFL player, a 7 year vetran

Calvin Johnson & Rob Sims, Jr.

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Former wide receiver Calvin Johnson and former guard Rob Sims Jr. expand their brand Primitive in to multipal locations.

Retired NFL players "Megatron" and Rob Sims, Jr.

Riley Cote

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Retired pro NHL hockey player and coach.

Known as the “enforcer, he spent eight years in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a left-winger. After his retirement in 2010, Cote founded the HempHeals Foundation and co-founded Athletes for CARE. He discovered the therapeutic benefits of cannabis at an early age from his sister, who used it to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Flavie Dokken

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She is sponsored by Wana Brands, a cannabis company that produces cannabis-infused products, like Wana Recreational Tarts.

Colorado based ultramarathoner 

Frank Shamrock

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Shamrock co-hosted The BakeOut Show, a talk show aimed to educate the mainstream audience about cannabis. He’s a member of Athletes for Care and regularly speaks at events including the World Medical Cannabis Conference and Expo. 

Retired MMA fighter, and undefeated UFC Middleweight champion. 

Ron Brown 

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Retired NFL and Gold Metal Olympian

Mr. Brown is an entrepreneur who specializes in business development and is an active member of many charitable organizations. His role at Vivera will include developing new business opportunities and building strategic relationships. Vivera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on non-addictive pain management, Mr. Ron Brown is on its Advisory Board. He is also a board member of The Cannabis Consumer Policy Council (CCPC) is a coalition of cannabis advocates, dedicated to empowering and protecting all cannabis consumers from discriminatory laws and policies.

Tiki Barber

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Retired NFL all-pro

Barber is hoping to cash in on the growth of the marijuana business in the United States. Barber  co-founded Grove Group Management, an investment firm that plans to focus on cannabis start-ups. 

Barber is open about his cannabis use: he loves weed. Nonetheless, he is not your traditional consumer. “I do not smoke,” he disclosed.

Marvin Washington

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Retired NFL player (11 seasons)

Washington is an advocate for the medical use of cannabis, as well as an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry. In 2017 Washington was part of a lawsuit filed against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, seeking to overturn the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug. Washington is a board member of Athletes for Care, a group that advocates for athletes on various issues of health and safety including the use of cannabis as medicine

Isiah Thomas

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Retired NBA Champion & NBA Coach

The NBA legend is the vice chairman and CEO of One WorldPharma Inc. (OTCQB: OWPC). "All industries — with the way we’re focused on climate change — everyone is looking to reduce their carbon footprint," he said. Hemp is a sustainable material that can be used to replace plastics and other environmentally unfriendly materials, Thomas told the Cannabis Capital Conference. “Sitting on 1 million acres of hemp and being able to supply and meet the demands of the auto industry, the construction industry ... the only way we’re going to be able to cleanse the environment and reduce our carbon footprint is through hemp.”

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