Ric Flair has found his way to the cannabis industry, and he and his brand are thriving.
Ric Flair is not Willie Nelson.
He has not been the vocal advocate and proponent for decades that others in the cannabis space have been. His name and image are not synonymous with cannabis and cannabis culture, but all that is changing very quickly.
What Ric Flair is, however, is an iconic figure who transcends demographics, regions, and time.
“I could call Snoop Dogg right now and put him on speakerphone and he’d tell everyone within earshot that I was Bling before Bling was Bling, and I could call Kid Rock and he’d tell you, you never met a motherfucker like me.”
The Man’s name is a verb, a sound, and an endorsement of celebration and enthusiasm. Flair’s influence is visible in nearly every facet of popular culture. From athletes to musicians to social media influencers, there’s no part of public persona that is not drenched in the lessons taught by Ric Flair cutting promos over the last 5 decades.
For over half a century, the Nature Boy, has been one of – if not the single – hardest working person in the room. He made his name and developed his showstopping personality over decades of breaking his body, both literally and figuratively, to entertain millions around the world.
In the wrestling industry of Flair’s era there were no days off, Flair spent the better part of his life working 350 days or more per year. “There were years where I wrestled more than 400 matches in a year,” he said. Now, Flair has found a new grind.
“I’m very blessed to have found something that I’m excited about,” Flair says about his newest venture, a partnership with TYSON 2.0 that birthed Carma Holdings, one of the fastest-growing brands in cannabis anchored by the legendary figures in Ric Flair and Mike Tyson, and steered by Chad Bronstein and Adam Wilks.
Ric Flair Drip packaging display | Carma
The man who spent decades on the road for the better part of 365 days a year is back at it again, but this time without nearly as much wear and tear on his body. “I love going out and seeing the people and the places, but the after-parties are a lot better now,” he jokes.
One such party was Flair’s recent trip to Missouri celebrating 420 at the launch of Smokey River Entertainment District with business partner Tyson and rap and cannabis culture royalty including Wiz Khalifa, Berner, and more. The days leading up to 420 Fest may have been reminiscent of his early days in wrestling, touring the state to celebrate the launch of Ric Flair Drip and the most recognized holiday in cannabis culture with stops in dispensaries and appearances across the state. But Flair is no stranger to the Show-Me State.
“Bob Geigel used to have me out wrestling in the middle of nowhere – in fields, in parking lots, and state fairs. I’d be in the rain wrestling for an hour, outside, for 200 people while they’re looking at cars for sale.”
Flair recounts his numerous adventures through Missouri over the years listing stops in Springfield, St. Louis, and Kansas City. He differentiates between Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri in a way that shows he understands the lay of the land.
Flair is a storyteller, inside and outside the ring. It’s so much a part of his persona that at this point in life, there’s little distinction between the character and the man. The life of the party and the face of the brand.
For Flair, cannabis wasn’t an option for the bulk of his life. Flair says he first found cannabis in 1968. But being asthmatic until he was 24, Flair says smoking wasn’t really an option and he never took to it. “It’s different now than it used to be, you see so many people now that use cannabis and enjoy it and it’s accepted.”
The rigor and toll that the work and lifestyle took on Flair have been well-documented throughout the years. The constant abuse of his body for the entertainment of others led to immense adoration, but not without a cost to him personally.
“I couldn’t use cannabis when I was wrestling, but I was taking pills, I took Ambien and Xanax, I was taking Ambien to get to sleep for 20 years, but with edibles, now I’ve stopped taking the pills.”
Flair has never shied away from discussing his relationship with alcohol and pills to combat the pain and toil his body was put through during an exhausting life on the road.
“Moderation is a very hard word for a lot of people, and I think it’s pretty well known that it was for me,” he explained. It’s this sentiment that anchors much of his enthusiasm for the benefits of cannabis.
Ric Flair | Carma
Flair now lends his name and charisma to the aptly named, Ric Flair Drip, a line of cannabis products that pack a punch, and that Flair is comfortable putting his brand behind. Flair is no stranger to promotional partnerships and branding, and there are probably more brands that have earned additional share in their respective markets through vicarious promotion than one could count, but Flair has always been protective of his image and legacy.
The team behind Carma were not the first to approach Flair about being the face of their cannabis brand, but they were the first to pique Flair’s interest. The right people, a partnership with longtime Mike Tyson, the leadership team of Bronstein and Wilks behind the brand, and an approach that showed serious investment in the Man himself, rather than hoping to piggyback off of his legacy showed Flair that it was the right time and place to take a plunge into cannabis. “It made all the difference in the world.”
“I had the opportunity to come in with the best,” he explained. For Flair, the quality of the company and the products being produced are the hallmark of the partnership and brand. “It’s not all the same, the value is in the people that are producing the cannabis and the access that is being created across the country.”