The former heavyweight champion, and potentially one of the most influential cannabis advocates and entrepreneurs in the world, has accepted the invitation to become Malawi’s official cannabis ambassador.
The BBC reports that Mike Tyson, 55, is hoping to bring investors and potential buyers to Malawi after the country’s Agriculture Minister Lobin Lowe approached him with the role.
Mr Lowe wrote: “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.”
He added that The United States Cannabis Association was facilitating the deal with the former boxing champion. The head of its Malawi branch told the BBC that Mike Tyson had accepted the offer and would visit the country in the near future.
Malawi is slowly embracing cannabis as one of their most important assets; the Malawi Gold, the locally grown special type of cannabis, as we reported last year, is very popular among users.
The Malawi government is encouraging local businesses and farmers to grow cannabis for medical purposes and hemp for industrial use.
Before Mr Tyson, the government relied on a British businesswoman, Tanya Clarke, who moved to Malawi to help educate the Malawians on the industry.
Malawi’s latest move to appoint Mike Tyson is not welcomed by everybody because of his past sentencing in a rape case from 1992.
Mr Tyson was found guilty of rape and served less than three years in jail.
The Centre for Public Accountability, a Malawian civil society group, criticised his involvement in the country’s cannabis industry.
Kondwani Munthali, the group’s acting director, 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.”
Mr Tyson has been in the news recently when he told the Sun that he wanted the UK to legalise recreational cannabis to “tackle the growing prescription pill crisis and mental health issues.”
He said then: “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.