Ricky Williams, former National Football League (NFL) running back, is launching his very own cannabis brand. The name of his line of cannabis-based products, Real Wellness, is also a play at his initials.
NFL career and failed drug tests
Williams’ 11-season NFL career ended more than a decade ago after a series of failed drug tests. In December 2003, he tested positive for weed and faced a $650,000 fine. He was also slapped with a four-game suspension for violating the substance-abuse policy of the NFL. He had also tested positive for cannabis before he joined the Miami Dolphins in 2002, and there were rumors that he failed a third drug test.
Williams became ineligible to play for the NFL’s 2004 season and officially announced his retirement from football in August 2004.
But, in July 2005, Williams returned to the Dolphins. He had paid back part of his signing bonus and served his four-game suspension.
On February 20, 2006, the NFL announced that Williams violated the league’s drug policy yet again. This was the fourth time he had failed his drug test. He was suspended for the whole 2006 season and, during that time, had a short stint with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts. Unlike the NFL, the CFL had not substance abuse policy.
In May 2007, it was reported that Williams failed yet another drug test and the NFL’s medical advisors recommended that he not be allowed to seek reinstatement that September. As a result, he had to adhere to a strict multiple drug test regimen every week so he could be reinstated by the NFL. He also practiced yoga, and he claimed that it helped him stop his marijuana use.
The NFL granted Williams’ request for reinstatement in October 2007. This was his second stint with the Dolphins.
Williams signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2011. In February 2012, he informed the Ravens that the was retiring from the NFL.
Williams had been labeled a “pot head” after he failed his first NFL drug test. But the tides have turned for the 40-year-old former college football star and he is now considered the living embodiment of the changing views of society on cannabis. He has become a spokesman for cannabis.
Williams studied holistic healing, herbalism, and Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine during his time away from professional football. He believes that cannabis, combined with natural herbs and a holistic approach to healing, can improve lives.
According to Williams, he is now a healer. He said that in the last 14 years, he has been educating himself and has been training as health care practitioner.
Williams as entrepreneur
Williams announced this week that he is now in the cannabis business.
He has come up with a line of cannabis-based wellness products that also feature essential oils and herbal extracts like turmeric, arnica, and lavender. Williams’ brand, called “Real Wellness by Ricky Williams.”
Currently, RW offers six wellness products based on Williams’ very own formulations. These products may be incorporated into the user’s daily health routine. There are salves, tonics, and vapes for various uses, such as for muscle repair and maintenance and headache relief.
Williams said that it is “a dream come true” for him to be able to merge his fascination with plant medicine and passion for healing with his entrepreneurial spirit. He attested that cannabis played an important part in his healing journey and that he feels it is his responsibility to share the things he has learned in the process.
According to him, he has done a lot with his life and has transformed what was a negative part of his story and healing into something positive. The most exciting part, he said, is that people thought his story was one thing but he pushed through, educated himself, and gained knowledge and wisdom, and now, he is offering something to his community.
The RW product line is currently available at 11 different dispensaries in San Diego, California.
(All photos used in this article are grabbed from Ricky Williams’ Twitter account.)