Ball Family Farms, lead by ex-football player Chris Ball, and the cannabis lifestyle brand Highsman, headed by former famed running back Ricky Williams, have announced the launch of a collaborative new strain, “Ricky Baker.”
With a shared history as football players and longtime cannabis advocates, Williams and Ball believe in the wellness impact of the plant. The two veterans of playing-field trauma say they set out to create a custom flower that targets pain and inflammation. Ricky Baker is sustainably grown in living soil and is exclusively pheno-hunted to incorporate terpenes limonene and linalool to create a well-rounded, heady wellness strain. Ricky Baker is slated to kick-off sales in California retail stores Oct 8th.
The new release, like all of Los Angeles-based Ball Family Farms strains, is named after a movie character. The new strain references the fictional doomed football star Ricky Baker from the film “Boyz N the Hood” — as well as a nod to Ricky Williams who, diagnosed with social anxiety disorder, left the NFL at the height of his career to pursue a life promoting cannabis.
“I’m excited about this collaboration with Highsman and Ricky Williams,” says Chris Ball, CEO of Ball Family Farms. “Our goal is not only to bring light and understanding to who Ricky Williams really is and what cannabis means to him. But more importantly, to erase buying stigma that is plaguing our industry. We want to teach consumers how they should be shopping for their cannabis.”
Social equity in action
Ball founded his company in 2018 after receiving a social equity license to sell cannabis. Ball told the Los Angeles Times that while playing football for the British Columbia Lions in Vancouver, some players would supplement their incomes during the offseason by bringing cannabis into the U.S. from Canada. That lead a Federal indictment for conspiracy to distribute marijuana and, ultimately, his pathway his leading black-owned cannabis company.Advertisement
“Chris is a pioneer in the cannabis space, overcoming obstacles and transitioning to a truly grassroots legal operation,” says Williams, founder and president of Highsman. “We are proud to collaborate on a product that gives back to those persecuted for cannabis related offenses, and leads the next generation of Black cannabis entrepreneurs.”
The collaboration comes as William’s Santa Monica, CA-headquartered Highsman is expanding its national footprint as the lifestyle brand of the legendary NFL running back. When Williams chose to step away from football in 2004, many thought he was turning his back on greatness, but Williams says he saw it as an end around to sharing his belief in cannabis with others.
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