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Rickey sticky seeds

Rickey Sticky

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From Heisman to Highsman: How Ricky Williams Has Grown Since the NFL

He looks like he could throw you from one side of Miami Gardens to the other, without spilling his drink. But that’s the last thing you’d expect from such a good-natured, pleasant, and engaging soul like Ricky’s.

You’re more likely to receive a breathless hug.

If you looked over his shoulder a few years ago, you’d likely see a football stadium. You’d hear the roaring thunder of the fans, the crack of shoulder pads, you’d smell hot dogs and body odor and you’d be screaming for the Dolphins.

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Zoom out now and you’re more likely to see rows of quiet plants. You’d see Ricky with a watering can or a mister, and you’d smell something far, far more enticing.

Yes, this is the same Ricky Williams who won the Heisman trophy in 1998, the same Ricky Williams who was repeatedly suspended from the NFL for failing drug tests, the same Ricky Williams who has grown immensely since his football days, and is growing still.

Not content with simply consuming cannabis (he has his own range of flower, Highsman), Ricky, like many Americans since the end of prohibition, learned to grow his own. And to grow his own naturally, from seed.

What better way to follow his dream than to team up with the Homegrown Cannabis Co, who themselves have some interesting partnerships. They have indoor expert Kyle Kushman, they have their own outdoor, greenhouse and hash experts (see Nikki Lastreto & Swami Chaitanya, Eric Brandstad, The Dank Duchess), not to mention a close collaboration with the Father of the Cannabis industry himself, Steve DeAngelo. It’s little wonder Ricky chose a company with such a prestigious list of friendships.

Ricky’s as authentic as they come. His journey has many parallels with the rise of cannabis in the US. Cannabis grew from a vilified, demonized drug to a billion dollar industry, while Ricky grew from a troubled ‘baller to successful businessman, astrology expert and spiritual muse to thousands of adoring fans.

But where did Ricky’s journey with cannabis begin? What made him risk his football career for such a misunderstood herb? And what is it he finds so magical, so rewarding, so soulful and satisfying about turning a tiny seed into a giant, flowering cannabis plant?

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Ricky, Weed and the NFL

It’s Ricky’s senior year at Texas and he’s just broken up with his girlfriend. To add humiliation to heartbreak, she immediately starts dating one of Longhorn’s quarterbacks. Ricky’s teammate!

One of Ricky’s friends had a suggestion: smoke some weed. It worked.

“The high was introspective. Calm. Like meditation. I made it a habit.” Ricky explains, “And as far as football was concerned, it actually made me a better player.”

Cannabis helped Ricky reflect on his on-field performances, it helped him analyze his game and make improvements. But there was a price.

“Pro-athletes and weed, it’s not a combination you hear very often. I often felt apart from my team, an outsider, especially during my early career.”

While his cannabis use led to feelings of conflict, Ricky knew he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Cannabis was natural. It was a plant. And it was keeping him centered.

It helped with the physicality of the NFL, too. Even after training sessions, most professional players are given a raft of injections for pain, inflammation etc. Ricky found cannabis worked a whole lot better than team doctors pushing opioids, at least for him. But this wasn’t a sentiment shared by many, especially those with the power to make or break careers.

Ricky would be suspended twice before finally hanging up his cleats. He was hounded by the NFL, forced to take more than 500 drug tests, and ostracized for his outspoken views on cannabis. Views that would only deepen in response.

Today’s NFL isn’t so draconian when it comes to weed. America as a society seems to have gone through its own introspection. Hostility has become acceptance. Ignorance has become understanding. Mandatory prison sentences have become jobs in a rapidly-growing industry. It’s all looking up.

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It’s a change Ricky played a huge part in, setting the tone for his post-football growth.

Grow Your Own Way

Ricky’s love of cannabis is no secret, and we’ll talk later about his superb range of Highsman flower. What’s less well-known is Ricky’s passion for home growing.

“There’s something special about growing anything, especially something like cannabis that can open your mind and contribute to your spiritual growth. And to know that you can take a seed and put it in the ground and literally nurture yourself in that way, it’s truly something amazing.”

When it comes to the toke, he loves a powerful, cerebral sativa, but these aren’t the easiest plants to grow, especially for beginners. Sativas are taller, lankier plants. They take longer in flower than their indica or indica-dominant cousins, and require more light, more heat, and more skill. See below.

Classic sativa cultivars (we should stop calling them strains, it’s disrespectful… they’re plants, not bacteria) are challenging to grow. But Ricky loves them. So he gave Homegrown’s breeders a challenge. To develop easier-to-grow versions of his favorites. The result? Well, it took a long time to make him happy, to get the phenos just right, but see for yourself…