According to BBC the country of Malawi is hoping to recruit former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson to become their official ‘cannabis ambassador’ as the nation looks to capitalize on the burgeoning legal marijuana market.
Malawi’s Agriculture Minister Lobin Low has sent a letter to Tyson formally offering him the role. The ministry claims that The United States Cannabis Association is attempting to facilitate a deal between Malawi and ‘Iron Mike’.
Tyson is well known for his use of cannabis. His popular podcast ‘Hotboxin’’ usually lives up to its name with Tyson partaking during tapings. Tyson has also invested in the cannabis industry. He operating both Tyson Ranch, a 420 acre cannabis resort, and Tyson 2.0 a company that produces original strains.
BBC claims Tyson has accepted the offer from Malawi and that a visit to the southeastern African country is being planned.
Malawi legalized the growing and processing of cannabis for medicinal use in 2020. However, recreational use is still prohibited. A locally grown variety of cannabis, named Malawi gold, is well known to recreational users across the globe.
Quoting a spokesperson from Malawi BBC reported that the country is hoping to use Tyson to “rope in some investors and even potential buyers” to work within the Malawi marijuana market.
The move to recruit Tyson has been criticized by The Centre for Public Accountability, a civil society group in Malawi. That group has said that, due to Tyson’s criminal record, the government should not seek him out for this kind of scheme.
Tyson was convicted of rape in 1992 and served a three year prison sentence.
“The CPA is failing to comprehend why Malawi would want to have a convicted rapist as its brand ambassador,” read a statement from the group’s acting director Kondwani Munthali. “Especially, at this time, when efforts to curb violence against women are part of the government agenda.”