The Agriculture Minister of Malawi, Lobin Low sent a letter to African-American former boxer; Mike Tyson inviting him to take up the role of the country’s Cannabis ambassador and said legalisation in Malawi had created new opportunities. Mike Tyson, a former world heavyweight champion, is an entrepreneur and has invested in a cannabis farm in the US. “Malawi may not go it alone as the industry is complex [and requires] collaboration. I would therefore like to appoint you, Mr Mike Tyson, as Malawi’s Cannabis Branch ambassador,” Mr Lowe wrote.
The deal is being facilitated by the United States Cannabis Association and the head of the Malawi branch, Wezi Ngalamila, confirmed to the BBC that Tyson had accepted the proposal.
Malawi and Mike Tyson
Malawi is hoping the move will; “rope in some investors and even potential buyers”.
It was announced recently that Tyson was launching a new company entitled Tyson 2.0.
The new venture is said to be “a step up from Iron Mike’s first cannabis brand, offering a wider array of products including everything from his personal favourite, flower, to concentrates, edibles, beverages, and pre-rolls”.
Last year Malawi, who grow a well-known strand of cannabis called Malawi gold; legalised the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes but it remains illegal recreationally.
But the move has been criticised by some as the former boxer was imprisoned for sex offences in the 1990s. Malawi has received criticism from the Centre for Public Accountability; a Malawian civil society group – for bringing Tyson in to become their cannabis ambassador.
This is because he was convicted of rape in Indiana in 1992 before being released just three years later.
Kondwani Munthali, the acting director of the Centre for Public Accountability, said; “The CPA is failing to comprehend why Malawi would want to have a convicted rapist as its brand ambassador, more especially, at this time, when efforts to curb violence against women are part of the government agenda.”