Detroit Lion Calvin Johnson opening a Medical Marijuana Dispensary

The retired Wide Receiver is looking to enter the emerging cannabis industry in Michigan. He was recently pre-approved for a Medical Marijuana Shop License. 

Calvin Johnson was a Detroit Lions superstar from the time he was drafted 2nd overall in 2007 until his retirement in 2016. He finished his career with 83 touchdowns and over 11,000 receiving yards. On December 22, 2012, Johnson broke Jerry Rice's 17 year old single-season record for receiving yards and finished the 2012 season with 1,964 yards, an average of almost 123 yards per game.

His talent on the field led Calvin Johnson to be one of the highest paid players in the game. When he entered the league he was the highest paid player in Lions’ history and the highest paid Wide Receiver in the NFL. Off the Field, Johnson was respectable, hardworking, and educated. He grew up in a family with a mother and sister who hold doctorates, and a father who was a railroad conductor that said he “wouldn’t tolerate a lot of being foolish”. As part of the draft process for the NFL, Johnson disclosed in a confidential interview that he had previously smoked marijuana. This information was leaked before the draft, but his work ethic, character, and honesty overruled any worries Lions executives had about Johnson’s marijuana use.


After attending High School at one of schools regularly ranked among the highest achieving districts in Georgia, Johnson attended Georgia Tech. He studied management in school, a degree which will no doubt come in use post-football for #81. He has been pre-approved for Medical Marijuana license for a shop named “Michigan Community Collective”. Calvin has been active in real estate since his playing days, but is now entering this emerging industry in Michigan. Having been previously denied by the State for having unpaid traffic tickets in another state, Johnson and his wife are approved and ready for the next step in the process. The location of the future dispensary and other details are not known yet.


So what is driving Megatron to the medical marijuana industry? The industry is new and full of opportunity, Johnson certainly wants to cash in on, but I don’t think this is purely for financial gain. Johnson was paid a $20 million option bonus in 2013, and he made 10’s of millions more during his playing days. Perhaps Calvin Johnson's dispensary venture is motivated partially by wanting to get his former teammates, friends, and fellow NFL players off of the painkillers and onto something less dangerous. He is a smart guy and seems to disagree with painkiller usage in the league.

The amount of physical stress and wear an NFL players’ body is put through is unreal. The pain during and after playing careers is often treated with the use of pain killers. Calvin Johnson said in an interview with ESPN investigative show E:60, that “The team doctors and trainers were giving them (painkillers) out like candy”. “If you were hurting, then you could get them. It was nothing,” “I mean, if you needed Vicodin, call out, ‘My ankle hurt,’ you know. ‘I need, I need it. I can’t, I can’t play without it,’ or something like that. It was simple. That’s how easy it was to get them. So if you were dependent on them, they were readily available.” Lawsuits against the NFL and the medical staffs have been filed by players regarding their prescriptions of painkillers. Marijuana is known to have pain relieving benefits among other things which can be used as an alternative for NFL players.

Regardless of motivations, Calvin Johnson believes in marijuana and it is special to have a Detroit Star like him get behind the new recreational industry.