A quartet of sports legends-turned-cannabis entrepreneurs joined the virtual Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference this week: ex-Detroit Piston Isiah Thomas, ex-Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty, NBA vet Al Harrington and NFL vet Marvin Washington.
Benzinga CEO Jason Raznick hosted the panel.
Cannabis Growth Across America: Former NFL defensive end Washington, an advocate for the industry, said cannabis is approaching full bloom in the U.S.
Washington, who's vice president of business development at the CBD company Isodiol International Inc. ISOLF, referred to CBD as a “trojan horse” and THC as the “belly” of said horse, in terms of how it will need to be introduced to emerging markets in middle America and the south.
"Cannabis is an essential," he said. "It's going to expand throughout the whole country."
Registration is open now for the next virtual Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference Oct. 15-16.
McCarty's Passion For Cannabis: Red Wings legend McCarty, who’s partnered with the Michigan cannabis company Pincanna, brought his passion for the plant to the panel by stressing how important relationships are in the cannabis space.
"Through the education, comes the medication," McCarty said.
Cannabis helped McCarty with his struggle with alcoholism, he said: "without this plant, I would not be alive."
He echoed Washington and said hemp and CBD are "the absolute trojan horse" in introducing the plant in markets nationwide where legal cannabis products are not yet sold.
Thomas On B2B Cannabis Plays: Is it hard to get old-line industries to listen to the benefits of hemp in 2020?
"Not at all," said Thomas, the vice chairman and CEO of One WorldPharma Inc. 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.”
Cannabis Motive Is More Than Profit: Harrington, who serves on the board of directors of MedMen Enterprises Inc. MMNFF, is an advocate for social equity in the cannabis space as a whole.
As the founder and CEO of Viola Brands, Harrington stresses education on cannabis and support for expungement in non-violent cannabis cases.
The industry at large cannot afford to have the big players fail, he said.
“We want everyone to be successful and we want this industry to move forward," Harrington said. "I'm really excited about the opportunity and especially helping [MedMen] with their social equity efforts."
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
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