Jim McMahon and Kyle Turley seek to hit legislative paydirt with Cannabis Freedom Party

When the punky QB hits the cannabis advocacy field he has many plans. 

This week in Las Vegas National Football League legend Jim McMahon is embracing  a tongue-in-cheek presidential campaign alongside fellow wounded warrior  / cannabis brand icon Kyle Turley on behalf of the Cannabis Freedom Party (CFP). 

Former Cresco Labs executive and longtime commercial cannabis industry veteran Jason Nelson is serving as the executive director of what he calls “a first of its kind political platform.” 

In the following interview, Nelson goes on to explain why NFL alumni authentically serve as cannabis ambassadors, what it will take for cannabis to be advertised in future Super Bowls and how CFP is driving down the field in 2024.  

Grown In: Tell us about The Cannabis Freedom Party and what you will be showcasing during Super Bowl weekend? 

Jason Nelson: The Cannabis Freedom Party (CFP) is a ‘first of its kind’ political platform focused on persuading state and local leadership towards a pro-cannabis political agenda. The CFP, led by well-respected NFL legends, will work across all political parties to enact long overdue legislation which allows safe, affordable and consistent access to cannabis across the United States.

Grown In: Why do former NFL players, apart from other professional athletes, make for great purveyors of cannabis products? 

Jason Nelson: While all athletes have exposure to risk of personal injuries related to their sports careers, professional football players have been excessively exposed to the dangers of treating severe sports injuries with prolonged opioid use. That reality coupled with the increased risk of brain injury under repeated high-speed collisions positions NFL players as some of the most passionate and deserving cannabis advocates.

Read and watch Grown In’s fall interview with Jim McMahon here

Grown In: When do you think the networks carrying the Super Bowl will ultimately allow for cannabis product and/or issue-related advertising? 

Jason Nelson: Great question. Cannabis firms have been trying for years to cross that restrictive barrier. Perhaps rescheduling and SAFER banking progress will allow the venue to support responsible cannabis advertisers in the future.

Grown In: What’s your favorite Super Bowl munchie? 

Jason Nelson: As a child of the 80’s ‘New Generation’, Pepsi did an amazing job locking in Nacho Cheese Doritos as my go-to gameday splurge.

Grown In: How can industry professionals best get involved with the Cannabis Freedom Party? 

Jason Nelson: Stay tuned to our CFP Kickoff festivities all this week in Las Vegas. We are so excited to be teeing up this truly consequential advocacy platform as we begin working through the 2024 election cycle.

Attend in-person / virtual Cannabis Innovation Lab panels next week

Cannabis Innovation Lab, a joint venture between Chicago-based global innovation hub 1871 and Grown In, will hold a series of in-person and virtual panel conversations on commercial cannabis and related topics next week that are free to the public.

On Monday, February 12 at 12pm Central Standard Time, Cannabis Innovation Lab will host a conversation on Money and Fundraising with Michael Gruber of Salveo Capital and Kara Wright of Envisioning Equity. 

Later that day at 1pm Central Standard Time there will be a conversation focused on the future of Cannabis Consumption in 2030. Panelists include Scott Weiner of the Okay Cannabis and Fifty / 50 Restaurant Group (co-creator with Cresco Labs of a new THC-infused Buffalo Wing Sauce), Madeline Scanlon of The Brightfield Group and High Focus Media and Felix Vogele of The Bettering Company and Brunch of Stoners. 

On Tuesday, February 13 at 10:30am Central Standard Time we will focus on Obtaining Corporate Buy-In in Cannabis with Doug Lowery of Crowe and Emilie Butler-Olimb with West Monroe Partners.

Also on Tuesday, February 13 at 3pm we will be discussing the brave new world of Alternate Psychedelics with Daniel Goldberg of Palo Santo, Lisa Evia of SeedFund Capital and Thea Polancic of Clearspace and Conscious Capitalism. 

Brad Spirrison of Grown In will moderate all of those panels. 

On Wednesday, February 14, 1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler moderates a panel on CannaTech Innovations with Tim Schmitt of 240 Logistics and Allison Dries of Krown LLC, the Illinois distributor of Wyld Gummies and Enliven Cookies.  

Sign up for all in-person and virtual events here

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.