Olympic Gold Medalist Levelling the Playing Field in Cannabis
Canadian professional snowboarder, Olympic Gold Medal Winner and Legacy Brands founder and CEO Ross Rebagliati joins Midas Letter to discuss setting the gold standard for cannabis retail companies and his own sporting experiences with the plant. Mr. Rebagliati was the first ever athlete to win an Olympic Gold Medal for men’s snowboarding at the 1998 Olympic Games. Subsequent to winning however, having found traces of THC in his system, was disqualified and stripped of his achievement. The decision was eventually overturned but not before Mr. Rebagliati spent time in a Japanese jail. Since his athletic achievements, Mr Rebagliati has maintained belief that cannabis is part of living a healthy lifestyle and has founded a medical marijuana business: Legacy Brands. Watch the full interview to find out Ross Brands business plan and how the legendary snowboarder is levelling the playing field in Cannabis.
James West: I’m joined Now by Olympic gold medalists and cannabis advocate Ross Rebagliati. Ross, welcome.
Ross Rebagliati: My pleasure. Thanks for having me
James West: Ross. Let’s start with a quick overview, because some people watching this won’t be that familiar potentially with your past. So, in a nutshell. What’s your big claim to fame?
Ross Rebagliati: My big claim to fame was snowboarding and getting to the Olympics in ‘98 for the first appearance for snowboarding in the Olympics and winning the gold medal and having it taken away for a positive drug test for cannabis and having it returned a couple of days later, but not before I had been to jail in Japan and all kinds of other crazy experiences with media and Paparazzi style sort of a couple of days was Unreal. So
James West: At least you were high!
Ross Rebagliati: I wish I was. Yeah, when it was quite the Whirlwind getting to the Olympics and you know right after the Olympics I was thrown into the washing machine and I ended up on The Tonight Show a couple of days later. And yeah, the whole thing really blew up
James West: no doubt. well and so out of that you’ve created a business Legacy and also well, I was familiar with Ross Gold
Ross Rebagliati: right, which we still have
James West: Which is now part of the Legacy Family Tell me about Legacy. What’s the concept? What’s the what’s the product?
Ross Rebagliati: Yeah, so Legacy is a cannabis company that’s basically around Sports Performance. CBD is a big part of it, anti-inflammatory, topical creams, gel caps with different tinctures of THC and CBD. It’s really a kind of the more, you know, so like the Ross Gold brand is the rec brand as the younger demographic and then Legacy is kind of the older demographic. Not old, but when you start getting more serious about your health and your life and Something that’s sustainable that you can repeat over and over if you have a family or an intense job or something like that, maybe you’re at work you build houses and you have like joints that need taken care of at the end of the day.
James West: Sure Okay. So there’s an athletic component to this in that you’re an advocate with athletes for care. You’re an ambassador for athletes for care. What is the organization about? What does it do?
Ross Rebagliati: So athletes for care is an organization that really takes the athlete once they’ve retired from their Sport and helps them integrate or reintegrate back into regular life. And so, whether that, means a job placement in one industry or another whether it’s cannabis or
James West: Why would they want to do that?
Ross Rebagliati: Right. There’s a lot of exciting opportunities right now with with cannabis and and the kinds of jobs. It’s the full gamut from marketing right to the growing of cannabis and everything in between. So, you really there’s a position for everybody in cannabis and we just want the athletes to have somewhere to go after retirement. So when there still may be at the last couple of years of their career, they can start looking into what they might be doing and some athletes are more proactive about that and their Sports come with scholarships and whatnot. You know other sports don’t have that. For example, I didn’t go through the whole snowboard thing with scholarships or anything. So I came out of the World Cup tour and the whole like going to jail and losing my medal and getting it back again, and I was little bit traumatized after that it took me a few years to reintegrate, just on my own, being a known person and trying to operate as a you know myself. It was a tricky situation.
James West: I bet there’s lots of sort of high-level athletes advocating for cannabis as a treatment for post sport injury related conditions, especially in football they’re suggesting that CBD has a strong impact on CTE. We’ve had everything from mixed martial arts athletes to professional wrestlers, to football players is Big, basketball players, rugby players we’ve had so is there a real natural affinity for cannabis among pro athletes when it comes to recovery?
Ross Rebagliati: Yeah. Yeah there is and it’s been kind of undercover because of prohibition. Also because of big sponsorship and corporate involvement in these sports, like baseball and football. The whole stigma and stereotype around it really kept the athletes from talking about it. A lot of athletes became dependent on painkillers and other opiates that were prescribed to them by their team in one way or another from the doctors or handlers or what have you and didn’t really have the Cannabis option presented to them and I think it just from word of mouth and Through the Grapevine athletes started learning that there’s a healthy Choice that’s not addictive that isn’t going to affect you and your family once you’re retired and that’s cannabis. And so these athletes that you mentioned all come from pretty High Impact Sports and they would know, so the football players are talking about concussion and recovery from concussion and protection from future concussion. CBDs one of the amazing substances that we’ve discovered that can actually create a plasma layer between your brain and your skull to protect your brain from concussion in the first place and especially works great for a rejuvenating cells that have pretty much gone dormant after a concussion, which we would have normally called Dead brain cells, but they’re not and so there’s been a lot of science to back up the claims that we’ve been making as athletes over the years to legitimize our path forward basically.
James West: you bet and so do you see a future where professional sports organizations like the NFL, the NBA actually Knowledge that CBD is a legitimate approach to recovery and Remediation of sports injuries?
Ross Rebagliati: It would be irresponsible not to at this point, you know WADA just took the CBD off the list of banned substances completely. There’s been a thousand percent increase in the allowable amount of THC as far as WADA is concerned and so over the years since they added THC to the list after my experience. They’ve raised it a thousand percent and taken CBD right off it. So there’s definitely that pressure on the NFL and the NBA and Major League Baseball and all the other big Sports, rugby, to really look at cannabis again and not only because of the effectiveness of it but also to look at the way opiates have affected our society in a negative way and how we can make better choices, healthier choices.
James West: Sure. So, is there a place where we find Legacy Brands? Like are they in the dispensaries? Are they online this point?
Ross Rebagliati: Right now you can find Legacy brands at legacybrands.com.
James West: Okay
Ross Rebagliati: LegacybyRoss.com
James West: sure.
Ross Rebagliati: We are bootstrapping and we were part of bringing cannabis out of Prohibition in to legalization. So, we started Ross gold approximately 10 years ago during prohibition. We had a dispensary and Kelowna, British Columbia where we operated for a couple of years before we saw what the regs were going to be for moving forward into the White Market, and so we’re closed down right now. Our websites are up, and we’re right now currently entering into the new era
James West: cool. All right. Well, that’s a great introduction to all of your endeavors. I’m so honored to have you here and meet you and love to have you back soon.
Ross Rebagliati: Awesome. Thank you. Thanks. Appreciate it.
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