Basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson is now in the CBD business, joining the ranks of famous athletes like Mike Tyson, Al Herrington, and Paul Pierce who have recently become weed business moguls.
Magic Johnson Enterprises just announced a partnership with Uncle Bud's Hemp & CBD, a US-based medical cannabis firm. Uncle Bud's sells over 70 different hemp and CBD products, including oils, topical creams, face masks, and even hand sanitizer. The company has experienced consistent growth since it was founded in 2018, and its products are now sold in chain stores like the Vitamin Shoppe and Urban Outfitters.
The company has already received celebrity endorsements from Jane Fonda and Toni Braxton, but the new partnership will help Uncle Bud’s expand its focus to athletes. "Magic Johnson Enterprises is focused on identifying category leaders with quality products that are at an affordable price,” Johnson said in a press release. “Garrett [Greller, co-founder of Uncle Bud’s] has proven the effectiveness of the products and the company's commitment to serving diverse communities."
Greller said that his own personal struggle with chronic pain inspired him to start the business. After traditional doctors were unable to treat his early-onset arthritis with conventional techniques, Greller helped develop a CBD-based topical pain reliever that ended up becoming Uncle Bud's first product.
Johnson told Business Insider that Garrett's story drew him to get involved with the company. “The fact that he had arthritis at an early age, and he had that problem, but he found a solution for that problem,” the athlete explained. “I'm the same type of guy. I like to find solutions to problems. He created this unbelievable company, Uncle Bud's, but it just wasn't a solution for him. He found a solution for a lot of people.”
The former Laker added that his own personal use of Uncle Bud's products also inspired the partnership. “I power walk five days a week, so my knees be killing me after I'm done,” Johnson said. To recover, the athlete said that he uses the company's CBD roll-on “on my knees as well as my lower back, because it gets tight, and it's helped me out a lot.”
Johnson said that he primarily uses CBD “because of the pain relief” and has been using these products even more frequently during the COVID-19 quarantine. “During the pandemic you use it more because of the fact that I can work out more. I'm at home more.”
The market for athlete-focused CBD products has grown exponentially in recent years. Clinical studies have found that CBD does a great job at managing symptoms of chronic pain and inflammation, and these properties have made it a popular workout recovery tool for athletes. The World Anti-Doping Agency officially removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances in 2018, and pro MMA athletes are even participating in clinical trials to determine how CBD could help them recover from injuries.