Legendary boxers Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield have partnered to launch a line of THC and Delta-8 THC-infused edibles via TYSON 2.0, the cannabis company owned by the newly formed brand house Carma Holdings.
The line, dubbed Holy Ears, will launch in November in the US, but the company is already preparing for international expansion, said Chad Bronstein, Carma Holdings chairman and TYSON 2.0 co-founder and president, in an exclusive conversation with Benzinga.
To better understand the deal and product line, we caught up with Bronstein and Tyson.
All In The Family
“Evander is now part of the TYSON 2.0 family,” Bronstein said.
For those wondering how that came to be, considering Tyson once bit off a piece of Holyfield’s ear in the third round of their infamous heavyweight rematch in June of 1997, it seems like the boxers made up shortly after the incident.
“We patched things up years ago. I really respect Evander,” Tyson told Benzinga.
However, Holyfield was not involved in the launch of Mike Bites, the first line of ear-shaped weed edibles created by TYSON 2.0. Nor was thrilled about it.
“At first it didn’t work out. I think huh [Holyfield] thought it came from a disrespectful place,” Tyson disclosed. “However, his son explained to him that we weren’t being disrespectful and he got the idea. And we’re all together now.”
Pretty straightforward, right?
According to Bronstein, once this happened, it all came together quite fast. “We were at the Fyllo Marketing Summit and we were in the car, Mike, Kiki [Mike’s wife] and I, and they came up with the idea of calling a line ‘Holier’ to launch around the holidays.”
It instantly became evident to the trio that there was a play on words to be taken advantage of there: Holy Ears. “We moved pretty quickly, about five or six weeks ago, to execute it today. So it all came together pretty well,” Bronstein said.
Holy Ears For The Holidays
Just like the best-selling TYSON 2.0 Mike Bites, Holy Ears are all-natural, vegan and gluten-free.
Starting this November, Holy Ears THC edibles will be available through Verano Holdings Corp VRNOF retailers in Arizona, Illinois, Nevada and New Jersey.
The edibles will come in a flavor the team calls Cherry Punch Pie. Albeit a “perfect flavor for the holidays, wonderful for the holidays” (per Mike’s words), the name is also a play on words on Tyson and Holyfield’s sports careers.
To develop the Delta-8 line, TYSON 2.0 partnered with Delta-8 provider Legends. Delta-8 Holy Ears edibles will be available nationally for presale starting Monday, November 14th through the newly launched TYSON 2.0 global online marketplace TYSON20Global.com, since, unlike marijuana-derived THC, Delta-8 is extracted from hemp and thus federally permissible.
But beyond regulatory issues, this is about achieving a great high, Mike said. And Delta-8 gives him that kind of high he loves.
“It’s the best I’ve tasted,” he assured. “I think cannabis and sports, especially boxing, go together like a foot and a shoe. Cannabis and Delta-8 help me reach my highest potential. Anyone that smokes has been smoking it for that reason: For pain, anxiety, paranoia…”
Bronstein agreed. “More and more sports leagues are being more open to it. They’re allowing CBD sponsorships into the leagues and we think obviously leagues are going to be more lenient because they want their athletes to be doing these kinds of products versus doing addictive products to help their mental health or to help their path to recovery. So we see more and more of them getting educated on what the value of this is.”
Plans To Go Global
Whenever Tyson lands in a foreign country, hundreds of people show up to greet him. The former boxer also gets frequent calls from high-ranking government officials, from senators to presidents and prime ministers. Thus, the decision to take his TYSON 2.0 brand global was a no-brainer.
“I have so many connections and people who want to be involved all over the world,” Tyson said. “It’s just a matter of waiting for the laws and regulations to pass.”
Bronstein pointed out that Carma Holdings is the biggest brand group in the space to date and that he intends to keep launching more products, not just in the US and Canada, but also in Europe, Thailand and Latin America.
“We’ll be in any country that’s going to allow it. We built a large global brand, so we’re getting reached out to a lot of different countries. So we’re being very smart in how we do our partnerships. But we will be the fastest-growing international brand over the next over the next six months,” Bronstein said.
“I know y’all need your Bites, and we’re coming to you,” Tyson concluded.
Photo: Tyson (Wikimedia), Hollyfield (Wikimedia). Edited by Javier Hasse.