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Notes: Calvin Johnson and Rob Sims ramping up CBD advocacy

Former Lions teammates are helping sponsor big time research into pain treatment.

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Photo by Mark Cunningham/Detroit Lions/Getty Images

Already active in promoting medical marijuana and cannabidiol (CBD) in Michigan for quite some time, former Lions Calvin Johnson and Rob Sims increased their visibility and involvement in the industry this week. According to Kurt Nagl at Crain’s Detroit, the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association announced on Thursday that Megatron joined the association’s board of directors. Beth LeBlanc at the Detroit News noted the former wide receiver’s emphasis on the association’s goals in his statement:

“I am proud to help drive them forward to advocate for a well-regulated, responsible and inclusive business environment that will position Michigan as a national leader,” Johnson said. “Their policy priorities and focus on issues like expungement and social equity are a key reason I joined this team.”

Kathleen Gray from the Detroit Free Press’ Lansing Bureau reported on a partnership by the cannabis company Primitive (co-owned by Johnson and Sims) with Harvard University also announced on Thursday at the Detroit Benzinga Capital Conference for cannabis entrepreneurship. The partnership will engage several parts of the Harvard research community to explore ways medical marijuana could be used to treat CTE in athletes:

“With the stigma associated with this industry, a lot of my family, including my mother, looked at me like ‘Have you lost your mind?’ ” (Johnson) said during the Cannabis Capital Conference in Detroit, sponsored by the financial news website Benzinga. “But when you all of a sudden add that we have a partnership with Harvard because we’re trying to find the best medicine, that changes a lot of minds.”

The moves are very much in line with both players’ views on openness and acceptance with regards to cannabis-based pain treatment. Sims and Johnson had previously attended and spoken at another Benzinga Capital Conference in Toronto earlier this year:

Non-psychoactive CBD delivery methods have been advocated for by former players like Eugene Monroe of the Ravens for years, and recently have drawn the attention of the NFLPA. Clinical research sponsored by the partnership of Johnson and Sims’ company will add to a growing body of medical knowledge on the potential of CBD treatments for CTE injuries.

And now on to the rest of today’s Notes:

  • Kyle Meinke at has a fantastic read about how the Muhldozer made his way to Detroit and is still going strong as the team’s long snapper. Don Muhlbach turns 38 on Saturday when the Lions face the Texans.

  • Guess who showed up at the Houston-Detroit joint practices? A recently-retired guy who has worn both jerseys. Justin Rogers with the Detroit News reports: