MIKE TYSON has accepted an invitation to become Malawi’s official cannabis ambassador.
The former world heavyweight champion, 55, has been selling cannabis products since 2016 through his Tyson Holistic label.
But now he is set to become the face of the drug in Malawi after agreeing to the offer from Agriculture Minister Lobin Low.
Low said: “Malawi may not go it alone as the industry is complex [and requires] collaboration.
“I would therefore like to appoint you, Mr Mike Tyson, as Malawi’s Cannabis Branch ambassador.”
The deal is being facilitated by the United States Cannabis Association and the head of the Malawi branch, Wezi Ngalamila, confirmed to the BBC that Tyson had accepted the proposal.
Malawi are hoping the move will “rope in some investors and even potential buyers”.
It was announced recently that Tyson was launching a new company entitled Tyson 2.0.
The new venture is said to be “a step up from Iron Mike’s first cannabis brand, offering a wider array of products including everything from his personal favourite, flower, to concentrates, edibles, beverages, and pre-rolls”.
Last year Malawi, who grow a well-known strand of cannabis called Malawi gold, legalised the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes but it remains illegal recreationally.
But the country has received criticism from the Centre for Public Accountability – a Malawian civil society group – for bringing Tyson in to become their cannabis ambassador.
This is because he was convicted of rape in Indiana in 1992 before being released just three years later.
Kondwani Munthali, the acting director of the Centre for Public Accountability, said: “The CPA is failing to comprehend why Malawi would want to have a convicted rapist as its brand ambassador, more especially, at this time, when efforts to curb violence against women are part of the government agenda.”
Tyson, 54, is believed to earn around £500,000-per-month through his cannabis business that offers premium marijuana strains, edibles and extracts.
‘Iron Mike’ is also building a 418-acre weed-themed holiday resort he hopes will be home to a music festival that can rival Coachella, as well as the world’s longest lazy river.
And aside from a luxury hotel and the lure of ‘glamping’ tents, there will be a Tyson University on site that will aim to teach cannabis cultivation tips to wannabe farmers.
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The ex-boxer confirmed to SunSport last month that he wants to see cannabis legalised in the UK.
He said: “Well I will tell you, once it is legalised in the UK, you wouldn’t have to worry about all these prescriptions drugs driving everybody nutty and committing suicide and all that stuff. That will stop immediately.
“Definitely half of it will be knocked out once the people from Great Britain get a chance to participate in what we are doing right now; the wonder medicine.”