“Help the masses”, was the response when asked what young Calvin Johnson wanted to do with his life in elementary school.
Many professional athletes will say they predicted their future from a young age, responding to questions similar to that they always wanted to be an athlete at the professional level. Currently, Calvin Johnson is doing just that using the cannabis plant to pave the way. What took so long? He just had to make a quick pit stop on his journey, becoming one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history first.
Garnering the nickname Megatron, Calvin Johnson was one of the most dominating players in the history of football which led him to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame for the class of 2021. A standout wide receiver at Georgia Tech, Johnson was drafted second overall in 2007 by the Detroit Lions to start his career where he exceeded expectations during his nine year tenure in the NFL. Combining his 6’5, 230 lbs build with 99th percentile speed, Megatron was a one-of-a-kind mismatch for any defender who tried to get in his way; which did not go unnoticed as he earned six pro-bowl and four all-pro selections as well as a spot on the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2010s.
Johnson retired after only a nine year career that confused many fans and spectators considering how high his level of performance still was at the time of his departure. Unfortunately, with great size and ability in the NFL, comes many hard hits and injuries that professional athletes across the world know all too well. The Hall of Famer cited a few of these chronic injuries that played a large part in his decision to hang up his cleats and begin the next chapter of his career.
In 2021, Calvin Johnson and his former Lions teammate Rob Sims founded Primitiv, a cannabis research company based in Michigan. Johnson has long been an advocate for cannabis as a healing method for injuries, chronic pain, and even Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a progressive brain condition caused by multiple concussions or blows to the head that has been linked to numerous suicides and sudden deaths by former NFL athletes and athletes or other contact sports. Primitiv has been pushing for favorable policies and laws that support research and the dissemination of knowledge about the therapeutic uses of cannabis for illnesses such as chronic pain, mental health, and cognitive impairment.
In an interview with Forbes, Johnson spoke of his support for cannabis even during his playing career. “It’s crucial to be an advocate in this space and it was hard to do it while we were playing ball,” said Johnson. “We were advocates then but there are rules and regulations you have to abide by. Now that we’re entrepreneurs and we can go out and start our own business, this is definitely a passion of ours. Not only do we use cannabis but we saw it for what it was, which is medicine and a natural way of healing other than what was proposed.” Recently partnering with Harvard University for research development, and the horticulture lighting company Fohse for energy efficiency, Primitiv is primed to make the next big step in the cannabis industry in its efforts to help the masses.