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Colorado Law Takes a Bite Out of Mike Tyson’s Gummy Ears

Edibles invoking the infamous Holyfield vs. Tyson “bite fight” are deemed too attractive to kids in Colorado.

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Mike Tyson’s ‘Mike Bites’ cannabis gummies are an ear-shaped play on the infamous biting incident with Evander Holyfield.
PHOTO CREDIT: TYSON 2.0

Former heavyweight boxing champion “Iron” Mike Tyson, who of late has been making the rounds as a successful cannabis entrepreneur, perked up the ears of sports fans in March with the unveiling of cannabis-infused gummies dubbed “Mike Bites.” The ear-shaped gummies with a bite taken out of them are a playful reference to Tyson’s infamous nosh on Evander Holyfield’s ear during their WBA heavyweight championship bout a quarter of a century ago in Las Vegas, NV.

As the latest offering from Tyson 2.0, the cannabis company Tyson fronts as chief brand officer, Mike Bites will be sold at cannabis dispensaries in Massachusetts, California and Nevada. But sales of the human ear-shaped edibles in Colorado have been KO’d by the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Sales of the gummies have been nixed for breeching a Colorado law that prohibits cannabis edibles produced with designs potentially enticing to children, such as cars, animals, characters and, apparently, the appendages of disfigured boxers. The ear-shaped gummies are “directly applicable” to the law, Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division communications director Shannon Gray said in a statement. To offer Mike Bites in Colorado, Tyson 2.0 will have to craft the edibles in a simple “T” shape—perhaps standing for “tasty.” Tyson’s Twitter endorsement of his new wellness product reads: “These ears actually taste good!”

It was during round three of the 1997 contest, billed as the “Sound and the Fury,” that Tyson infamously bit off a piece of Holyfield’s right ear off during a clinch. Though the fight was allowed to continue following the bite, Tyson was disqualified late in the fight by referee Mills Lane. The win in his second fight with Tyson kept the WBA heavyweight belt in Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield’s possession.

As a result of bite felt ‘round the world, Tyson was stripped of his boxing license (later returned to him) and he was forced to pay a US$3 million fine out of his US$30 million purse for the bout. Tyson and Holyfield good-naturedly reconciled after the fight, the pair often humorously referencing the notorious contest. In 2014, it was Tyson who was asked to introduce Holyfield during his former foe’s induction into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.

Tyson has launched several cannabis-related ventures in recent years. Tyson 2.0 describes itself as “a premier cannabis company formed with legendary boxer, entrepreneur and icon Mike Tyson. The company’s mission is to produce innovative, high-quality cannabis products known for purity, precision and wide accessibility.”

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In 2021, the company expanded its sales to over 100 locations in California. Heavily involved in brand acquisition, Tyson 2.0 recently took a majority stake in professional wrestling legend Ric Flair’s company, Ric Flair Drip. Tyson 2.0 plans to add Ric Flair Drip’s edibles and flower strains to its own three flower lines.

“Cannabis has been a game changer for me both physically and mentally, and I’m excited to share the healing benefits of this miracle plant with Tyson 2.0 fans,” Tyson said in a recent press statement. The boxing legend said that when he was in his prime, he used cannabis to relax his body and focus his mind. Having now sunk his teeth into the cannabis trade, Tyson has become an evangelist, touting the wonders of the plant through his “Hot Boxin’” podcast and elsewhere.

Brad Cheng is the digital editor of Global Cannabis Times, produced by SmartWork Media. Brad's journalism career spans working as an editor for PR Newswire, The Nation and The Santa Barbara News Press, and as Managing Editor of The Katy Courier, and publisher of Now This in Princeton. His career as a screenwriter took him into entertainment advertising, writing major film campaigns for studios and for HBO.

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