Calvin Johnson, the former Detroit Lions star wide receiver and founder of Michigan-based cannabis company Primitiv, has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Johnson, better known to fans as “Megatron,” played nine seasons in the National Football League and in an interview last year indicated he used cannabis throughout his career to help with the concussions he suffered during his playing days.
“When I got to the league, [there] was opioid abuse. You really could go in the training room and get what you wanted. I can get Vicodin, I can get Oxy[contin]. It was too available. I used Percocet and stuff like that. And I did not like the way that made me feel. I had my preferred choice of medicine. Cannabis.” – Johnson to Bleacher Report
Following his football career, Johnson, along with former teammate Rob Sims, founded Primitiv, which in 2019 announced a partnership with Harvard University to research the effects of cannabis on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and pain management. A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found 110 of 111 brains of former NFL players were found to have the degenerative disease linked to blows to the head.
Neither Johnson nor Sims have been diagnosed with the condition.
In 2019, Johnson and his wife, Brittney, were approved for pre-qualification status for a medical cannabis dispensary, according to a Detroit Free Press report. The planned dispensary, Michigan Community Collective, is not a Primitiv project.
Last year, the Primitiv founders signaled plans to open a dispensary, called Prime, in Niles. The duo said they may even consider doing autograph signings and other events at the shop due to their NFL connections, the South Bend Tribune reported.
Johnson, who spent his entire career with the Lions and set the single-season receiving record in 2012 with 1,964 yards, was voted into the Hall of Fame on his first ballot appearance.
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