Texas – Ricky Williams and his business mentor Chris Ball hope to share an interest in cannabis, a “cultivated culture” that other businesses will follow.
The former NFL All-Pro fugitive finds himself as the owner of a cannabis company. Williams draws on Bolo’s experience as a successful business owner and exchanging messages that coincide with his own.
“Chris and I are African Americans and cannabis owners. He has a head start in understanding this industry and this business, so I turn to him for mentoring and guidance. And I can share any opinions I can, ”Williams said.
“We are a force in numbers. I firmly believe in that. That’s why I partnered with Al Harrington of Viola. I follow the same protocol with Ricky, ”Bol said.
Both are working to improve the number of black and brown people working in the space. According to a recent Business Insider survey, 70% of the executives of more than a dozen of the largest cannabis companies in the United States are white men. Black leaders make up only 7% of the industry. These figures are alarming to Bell because so many black Americans are in jail for nonviolent marijuana crimes.
“I don’t like it because I’m one of those people, but thankfully I was given that opportunity. And you will see if given the opportunity that I was able to do with it. Thousands of Chris Balls are in prison now, ”Ball said. “Just go to some of these guys who have achieved the same success as I have, and rehabilitate them, connect them to this legal framework and watch them grow.”
Black Americans are three times more likely to be arrested than their white counterparts for the same marijuana crimes. Some states with legal cannabis use have implemented social justice programs in an attempt to combat the negative effects of the “drug war” on color communities. These policies are designed to promote the practice of hiring, which invites former prisoners to the space. Ball is the beneficiary of such a program.
“Once I get out of here, I’ll try to do it right and grow for myself,” Ball said. “After a year or so of growth and setbacks all these setbacks led to success. I learned about the social justice program in 2018, and the Bol family farm was born.
Ball and Williams believe that education is an important aspect when there is a more diverse industry.
“There should be educational material where we help people catch up and experience these opportunities. What I am learning as a businessman in this field is necessary, ”Williams said. “I think what we’re creating now is planting seeds and taking care of them, so we can all be proud of what will happen in the future.”
“Teach colored young people how to get into this business. Maybe you will be able to go to school and learn to be a cultivation specialist or a cultivation director, ”Ball said.
Ball Family Farms and Highsman plan to continue working together to ensure growth in these areas.
Each company is part of a growing number of former athletes who promise to help improve the division in employment and ownership.