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NFL Icon Ricky Williams Inspires Athletes to Stand Up to the Cannabis Stigma

It’s no doubt that entrepreneur and legendary NFL running back, Ricky Williams, has been leading the movement of cannabis in sports. While his cannabis lifestyle brand, Highsman, was created in response to a lopsided marijuana stigma, Williams knows that there still lies a fundamental issue rooted in how cannabis is viewed across sports. After all, no professional athlete has come head-to-head with cannabis controversy more than Ricky Williams — who famously stepped away from football in 2004 due to the continuous restrictions that were interrupting his playing career, and ultimately, his wellness. Like many professional athletes, Ricky saw the limitless benefits of cannabis both on and off the field.

In an exclusive interview on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Williams discussed the negative stigma of cannabis in sports and how often prescription medication was pushed on NFL players in its place. Williams told Bill Maher, “The whole idea was to shut ourselves off to what’s going on. I’m more about turning on to it, so I can deal with it.” He continued “What I found is after practice, I’d go home and smoke, and yea I’d feel better, but in that better-feeling state, I’d start to reflect on my life.” Following a failed drug test in 2002, the NFL began testing Williams around 10 times a month. Recalling his experience, he told Fox News, "Obviously, I stopped smoking. I thought at the time it was no big deal. But when I stopped smoking, I noticed that I was taking more pain pills and I noticed that I was more anxious.” Williams continued, "I started to continue to smoke just a little bit just to see if there was a difference. And, in that situation, I noticed there was a big difference — that I recovered faster, things didn’t bother me as much and it reflected in my performance.” As the world knows, Ricky Williams went on to become one of the most iconic running backs in NFL history over the course of 11 seasons. But Williams knew that his physical, mental, and emotional wellness were nothing worth sacrificing, and he officially retired in 2004. When asked about his retirement, Williams told LA Weekly “There were stories saying I was like the world’s biggest underachiever and all these assumptions. I started reading those stories and I realized it’s up to me to decide how the story progresses forward. So I gave myself permission to pursue my passions. I traveled around the world, and I started to get a better sense of who I was outside of being just a football player.”

Nearly two decades after Ricky stepped away from the NFL and shook up how the world viewed cannabis in sports, athletes are still facing similar challenges. But Williams continues to lead the movement and remind professional athletes that they are the ones in control of their own narrative. In the summer of 2021, U.S. runner, Sha'carri Richardson, tested positive for THC and was suspended from the Tokyo Olympics for 30 days. Williams believes Richardson has an important voice in sports and can bring meaningful change. He told the NY Post in an exclusive interview, “I think this is an opportunity for a young athlete to realize sports is a platform. She (Sha'carri) has a perfect opportunity with so many people in the world having this conversation. So I think she should be proud of herself.” On a podcast with CROOKED NETWORK, Williams was asked his opinion on the reinstatement of Kansas City Chiefs’, Josh Gordan. The wide receiver has faced numerous suspensions over the course of his playing career due to failed drug tests. Williams said, “It’s easier to write your own story when there’s a happy ending. If he (Josh) can come back and be successful on the football field, I think it makes it easier to tell a successful story.” Williams believes that society needs to shift from viewing marijuana as something to control, to a means of wellness. Williams remains optimistic, telling USA Today "I think in the future, teams are gonna be supplying cannabis for the players because they've realized it's a healthy alternative [to] pharmaceuticals." Looking at how other leagues are beginning to progress forward in this movement, Ricky mentioned the NBA. “They are a league that’s starting to listen to the players more. They are a league that is no longer randomly drug testing their players for cannabis. And they are a league that has players that are more willing to stand up,” Ricky also told CROOKED NETWORK. We’re already starting to see a change in perspective within the NFL. Williams praises the NFL Players Association for coming together and pushing the league to ease its regulation of marijuana.

Cannabis is still classified as a banned substance by the NFL, but the league recently lowered its punishment for positive tests from suspensions to fines. Although we’re beginning to see a more positive change in how sports leagues handle cannabis use, Williams believes we still have a long way to go. Williams continues to challenge the stigma and share his story across the globe, while also inspiring people to Spark Greatness in everything they do through his new cannabis lifestyle brand, Highsman. “We are flipping the script on how people view cannabis,” he said in an exclusive interview with Forbes. Highsman features three premium cannabis collections – Pregame, Postgame, and Halftime– curated for different moments throughout the day, as well as a stylish range of apparel. You can discover Highsman products today at a store near you.

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Sports and Cannabis Collide with Highsman

Launched at a time when cannabis and sports are poised to collide faster than ever, Highsman is positioned to define their shared connection. This emerging brand has a true passion for the plant and is built on the mindset that personal wellness shouldn’t have to be sacrificed. Through a close focus on the relationship between athletes and the benefits cannabis provides, Highsman aims to continue rewriting the definition of holistic relief for physical and mental health.

Hand-selected by Ricky Williams himself, the Highsman cannabis line-up is carefully chosen based on their terpene profiles and beneficial properties. And there is no question that through his experience of choosing cannabis for his own wellness, Ricky has become very familiar with the plant.

Further bridging the gap between cannabis and sports, Highsman offers athletic apparel and accessories. The merchandise includes a range of styles from hoodies and joggers to a classy take on the always popular Letterman Jacket. With multiple drops planned with a variety of key partners, you can expect your Highsman collection to grow as quickly as the brand itself.

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Ricky Williams Interviewed on "The Rush"

Jared Quay of The Rush, a fast-paced take on the hottest sports news, sat down with Ricky Williams for a one-on-one interview. They talked about the best munchies, Texas Longhorns football, the future of college sports, Tom Brady, and Highsman cannabis. We’ve highlighted all of the questions and answers from the interview so you can get to know Ricky.

We’ve highlighted all of the questions and answers from the interview so you can get to know Ricky.


Q: What's your go-to meal for when you are high?

A: I pack my kitchen with good stuff, but the highest quality stuff. And so my go-to is fruit. I make a smoothie.


Q: What does the [Longhorns] program actually need to do to be back [in contention]?

A: It's about coming together as a team. And I think the most important thing is believing in yourself.


Q: How do you feel like your career would have been different if you could have profited from your name?

A: Well, I don't think I would have made it 12 years in the NFL. I think it's wonderful because I'm a big proponent of utilizing what you learn through sports to be successful in other areas of life. My idea would be to allow the players to make money, but, you know, tie it to having to finish some level of schooling. Because the opportunity is really supposed to be about education. I don't want to send that message that going to college is only about football. It should be about learning.


Q: Did you know when you were playing against Tom [Brady] at such a young point in his career that he was going to be one of the GOATs?

A: You can feel when there's something unique and there's something special. I don't know if I would have said he was the GOAT, but you could tell what they were building up in New England was something special. But in this game with injuries and free agency, it's hard to build a dynasty and it's hard to stay healthy, and I think those are the intangibles that I think are really a key to his success.


Q: Can you tell me a little bit more about that [Highsman cannabis] and how it got started?

A: I left the NFL and I just started traveling and really looking for myself. And part of what I found was a passion not only for cannabis but for plant medicine and for healing. I think happiness is finding who you are and what you're here to do, and then doing it.


Want more? You can watch the full Ricky Williams interview on The Rush via Yahoo!Sports. With team pages for teams in almost every North American major sport and the leading fantasy platform, you can be certain that Yahoo! is in the know on everything sports.

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The Road to Highsman

The stigma of the “lazy stoner” is a thing of the past as former athletes and other professionals come out about their use. Whether it be for pain or another ailment, there is growing support around cannabis as the central piece of a general wellness routine. This shift of understanding means people shouldn’t be ashamed of considering alternative options for relief. Ricky Williams is all too familiar with the negative view of cannabis and for a long time has made his passion for the plant known.

With 2,127 rushing yards, 27 touchdowns, and 21 NCAA records in his award-winning season, Ricky contends that none of it would have happened without cannabis. The mental and physical relief it provided helped to block out all of the noise and spark greatness from within. Despite five suspensions in his NFL career for substance-abuse policy violations, Ricky never wavered and always stayed true to himself.

All of this firsthand experience culminated in the birth of Highsman. Here to bridge the gap between cannabis and sports, Highsman’s passionate team understands cannabis can be an essential piece of wellness. Sparking greatness starts with taking care of yourself, and Highsman is here to help you do just that.

Read More

Highsman is Changing the Game

Highsman is about providing an elevated experience with quality in mind, from the carefully selected cannabis through the attention-demanding apparel. The athlete-focused, purpose-driven brand is dedicated to an appreciation for greatness in every facet of life. By normalizing the crossover between sports and cannabis, Highsman is positioned to flip the script and redefine their relationship.

The line-up of flower products is personally determined by Ricky Williams, offering a hand curated-cannabis experience. After years of advocating for the legalization and normalization of cannabis use, he has become an expert in the field.

Along with high-quality cannabis, the Highsman brand features apparel and accessories. The brand launched a variety of styles, including a varsity jacket, t-shirts, and other sports-inspired streetwear. Through strategic partnerships with other cannabis brands, like Jeeter, there will always be unique product drops to look forward to.


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The Highsman Mentality

Highsman is here to bridge the gap between cannabis and sports culture by paving a path for athletes and fans to proudly own their relationship with marijuana. ‍ The seed for Highsman was planted years ago when Ricky chose authenticity over the common mindset about what it takes to be successful. He made his departure from professional football in 2004, and while many saw this as a deviation from greatness, Ricky was blazing a new trail towards the future he ultimately wanted.

History of Highsman

Ongoing scrutiny by the NFL and sports fans alike helped him define what his role would be in deepening the ties between sports and cannabis. It became his mission to educate people on the plethora of benefits associated with cannabis and eliminate any negative stigmas or false stereotypes that have existed from past generations.

What does it mean to Spark Greatness? It’s something inherent within all of us, but the realization of that “Greatness” genuinely begins when you prioritize being true to yourself - no matter how you define it.

Where It’s At

In order to find cannabis with the high-quality standards worthy of the Highsman brand, Ricky ran hundreds of strains through multiple testing sessions. The lineup you see today is made of Ricky’s hand-picked favorites.

Though categorized under the commonly known styles, Sativa (Pregame), Hybrid (Halftime), and Indica (Postgame), there is a lot of thought put into the terpene profile of each flower selected by Ricky.

The goal for each strain is to help people express a different Highsman mentality at key moments throughout their day. Unique terpene profiles provide energizing effects through euphoria to calming relaxation.  There is a style for every situation.

So, where can you find Highsman cannabis today?

Ricky Williams wearing a santa suit

California

Being one of the most iconic cannabis scenes in the world today, Highsman chose California as their breakout market.

On November 13th, Ricky hosted a meet & greet at Planet13 Orange County, a cannabis superstore entertainment complex in Santa Ana. And in December, he returned to the largest dispensary in California, dressed as St. Rickolaus to spread holiday cheer, giving out gifts to customers and staff. It was a great opportunity to speak with fans and hear their stories, particularly how cannabis or Ricky has personally affected their lives.


The Highsman strains can also be found on the shelves of The Pottery, a classy cannabis store in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles. As an up-scale dispensary in California, The Pottery is a perfect representation and match for the high-level cannabis that Highsman produces.

And don’t worry if you’re not close to Planet13 OC or the Pottery, these aren’t the only options in Cali. There are more retailers in the region where you can find Highsman right now. Check out the store finder to locate the closest dispensary to you.

Oregon

In Oregon, you'll find Highsman at various Kaleafa stores. The multi-store operator added Highsman to its lineup of quality products on November 20th and received an incredibly positive response from cannabis connoisseurs and fans alike.

Another location is Sweet Tree Farms, one of the leading cannabis dispensaries in Oregon. Founded in 2015, the company is recognized for its knowledgeable budtenders who now have Highsman to recommend to their loyal customer base.

You can also find Highsman at Elev8, a quality first dispensary in Eugene. They state on their website that they "curate only the very best products from the very best people in the business," which says a lot.

But that’s not all of the stores in Oregon that Highsman is stocked. With new shops being added regularly, the most up-to-date list of retailers can be found on our Highsman store locator.

Plans for the Future

And with new products continuously rolling out, the growth doesn’t stop there. The Highsman team is working hard to bring their flower-products to legal markets across the country. Keep an eye out as new states get added to the Highsman store locator so you don’t miss an upcoming release.

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What to Expect from Highsman

To stay updated on all things Highsman and Ricky Williams, sign up below and be notified of updates to the Highsman Future Events Calendar. By doing so, you’ll never miss an Instagram Live, in-person event, or special product drop!

If you’re in one of the following regions, be sure to stop in for a Meet & Greet with Ricky at these locations:

  • 1/8/22 (2 to 4 pm PST): Barbary Coast - San Francisco
  • 1/14/22 (4 to 6 pm PST): Top Crop - Oregon
  • 1/15/22 12 to 2 pm PST): Top Crop - Oregon
  • 1/21/22 (2 to 4 pm PST): The Pottery - Los Angeles

And with the Big Game right around the corner, keep your eyes peeled for something special from the Highsman team.

Read More

Sports and Cannabis Collide with Highsman

Launched at a time when cannabis and sports are poised to collide faster than ever, Highsman is positioned to define their shared connection. This emerging brand has a true passion for the plant and is built on the mindset that personal wellness shouldn’t have to be sacrificed. Through a close focus on the relationship between athletes and the benefits cannabis provides, Highsman aims to continue rewriting the definition of holistic relief for physical and mental health.

Heading

READ MORE

Ricky Williams Interviewed on “The Rush”

Jared Quay of The Rush, a fast-paced take on the hottest sports news, sat down with Ricky Williams for a one-on-one interview. They talked about the best munchies, Texas Longhorns football, the future of college sports, Tom Brady, and Highsman cannabis. We’ve highlighted all of the questions and answers from the interview so you can get to know Ricky.

Heading

READ MORE

The Road to Highsman - A Wellness Journey

The stigma of the “lazy stoner” is a thing of the past as former athletes and other professionals come out about their use. Whether it be for pain or another ailment, there is growing support around cannabis as the central piece of a general wellness routine. This shift of understanding means people shouldn’t be ashamed of considering alternative options for relief. Ricky Williams is all too familiar with the negative view of cannabis and for a long time has made his passion for the plant known.

Heading

READ MORE

Highsman is Changing the Game

Highsman is about providing an elevated experience with quality in mind, from the carefully selected cannabis through the attention-demanding apparel. The athlete-focused, purpose-driven brand is dedicated to an appreciation for greatness in every facet of life. By normalizing the crossover between sports and cannabis, Highsman is positioned to flip the script and redefine their relationship.

Heading

READ MORE

The Highsman Mentality

Highsman is here to bridge the gap between cannabis and sports culture by paving a path for athletes and fans to proudly own their relationship with marijuana. ‍ The seed for Highsman was planted years ago when Ricky chose authenticity over the common mindset about what it takes to be successful. He made his departure from professional football in 2004, and while many saw this as a deviation from greatness, Ricky was blazing a new trail towards the future he ultimately wanted.

Heading

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Ricky

RICKY TALKS TO CALEB PRESSLEY

JANUARY 8, 2022
IN THE NEWS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede. Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Richardson

Sha’Carri Richardson IS RIGHT

JANUARY 8, 2022
THOUGHTS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede. Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Pottery

WE VISIT THE POTTERY

JANUARY 8, 2022
EVENTS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Ricky

RICKY TALKS TO CALEB PRESSLEY

JANUARY 8, 2022
IN THE NEWS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Richardson

Sha’Carri Richardson IS RIGHT

JANUARY 8, 2022
THOUGHTS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Pottery

WE VISIT THE POTTERY

JANUARY 8, 2022
EVENTS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Ricky

RICKY TALKS TO CALEB PRESSLEY

JANUARY 8, 2022
IN THE NEWS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Richardson

Sha’Carri Richardson IS RIGHT

JANUARY 8, 2022
THOUGHTS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Pottery

WE VISIT THE POTTERY

JANUARY 8, 2022
EVENTS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Ricky

RICKY TALKS TO CALEB PRESSLEY

JANUARY 8, 2022
IN THE NEWS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Richardson

Sha’Carri Richardson IS RIGHT

JANUARY 8, 2022
THOUGHTS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Pottery

WE VISIT THE POTTERY

JANUARY 8, 2022
EVENTS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Ricky

RICKY TALKS TO CALEB PRESSLEY

JANUARY 8, 2022
IN THE NEWS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE
Richardson

Sha’Carri Richardson IS RIGHT

JANUARY 8, 2022
THOUGHTS

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.
Donec nec justo eget felis facilisis fermentum. Aliquam porttitor mauris sit amet orci. Aenean dignissim pellentesque felis. Donec odio. Quisque volutpat mattis eros. Nullam malesuada erat ut turpis. Suspendisse urna nibh, viverra non, semper suscipit, posuere a, pede.

READ MORE