Lead image via
Legendary NFL quarterback Joe Montana is trading astroturf for a new kind of grass.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the Hall of Fame inductee and former San Francisco 49ers star recently closed a sizeable investment in Caliva, a California-based licensed cannabis cultivator and retailer.
Montana, alongside other high-profile investors like former Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz, closed a $75 million funding round for the San Jose-based brand, which operates just a few miles from Levi’s Stadium, where Montana’s old team plays. Caliva produces a full line of flower, pre-rolls, concentrates, and more, and announced on Thursday that it will use the newly-acquired venture funding to expand its product line and retail footprint.
"What we’re trying to do is be the #1 brand in California,” Caliva CEO Dennis O'Malley said in a statement announcing the capitol injection. “We believe this is where global brands are made."
It is not entirely clear if Montana is a cannabis user himself, but after Thursday’s announcement, the Super Bowl champ made it clear that he was getting into the ganja game for more than just a paycheck.
“[The cannabis industry] can provide relief to many people and can make a serious impact on opioid use or addiction,” Montana told the Sacramento Bee. That said, Caliva did not disclose what portion of the $75 million funding round was supplied by Montana.
Over the past few years, a number of retired and current NFL players have espoused the benefits of cannabis in helping to reduce pain and treat long-term injuries caused by the gridiron. Players have repeatedly told stories about team doctors handing out opioids like advil, and frequently describe finding relief from both their injuries — and the pills themselves — through cannabis.
Follow Zach Harris on Twitter