A company owned by former world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson plans to partner with a West Virginia greenhouse to grow and extract cannabis for use in its products.
Tyson Holistic is teaming up with Flemington-based Almost Heaven Agriculture and plans to put a hemp extraction facility at its existing greenhouse, officials said Monday.
Kevin Bell, a partner and chief operations officer for Tyson Holistic, said officials with the company had been in West Virginia for about a week looking for opportunities to invest in the hemp industry here.
“We’ve looked at lots of reclamation land and we are going to do that, it’s just that they only give licenses twice a year, so we found an existing license holder to do a joint venture,” Bell said.
Bell said medicinal hemp offers more opportunities and a higher price than industrial hemp. Medicinal hemp sells for about $50 to $100 per pound compared to the $5 to $10 a pound for industrial hemp, he said.
Bell said the state has currently few licenses to grow hemp and that’s because there’s no extraction facility.
“So our first thing is to build an extraction facility to grow the hemp into money,” Bell said.
Tyson Holistic, which is in its fourth month of existence, produces a hemp-infused water and a hemp infused pain-relief gel, Bell said.
“We’re hoping to inject resources and capital and partner with West Virginia to change the world,” Bell said.
Bell said on Monday the company plans to invest “whatever it takes,” in the hemp industry in West Virginia. He didn’t have a dollar amount for the initial investment with Almost Heaven.
Former lawmakers Mike Manypenny and Bill Flanagan own Almost Heaven Agriculture in Flemington, Taylor County.
Flanagan said the company already has a one-acre greenhouse and is planning to add more.
Flanagan said the plans will mean jobs for the area and beyond when it expands.
West Virginia isn’t the only place Tyson’s company plans to build. Tyson Holistic is also building a 40-acre marijuana ranch in California, the Washington Post reported earlier this year.
Bell said the former professional boxer was addicted to opioids, had back surgery and pain and post-traumatic stress disorder, all issues cannabis helped with.
“Mike believes in this product, this isn’t just some whim to make money,” Bell said. “Mike wants to change the world.”