Sports Cannabis Interviews Sports Cannabis News

Bo Scaife, Changing the Route & Making a Play for Cannabis

"The ah-ha moment was getting sick from the other stuff and immediately noticing a dramatic difference when I consumed cannabis..."

Retired NFL legend, cannabis visionary and founder of All Pro Farms, Bo Scaife is paving the way for athletes across the country, using his platform to advocate for cannabis.

With a relentless work ethic and a ferocious appetite to be the best, Bo Scaife was destined for greatness.  Scaife played college football for the University of Texas Longhorns and received First-Team All-Big 12 honors before being drafted to the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft.  Bo played 8 years in the NFL, dominating the field and set a record as the only tight end in NFL history to rush for a touchdown, catch a touchdown, return a kickoff and record a tackle in the same season.

Today, Bo’s making an impact off the field and has created All Pro Farms, a unique company set to propel the industry forward.  With an opportunity to shift the conversation, retired NFL athlete Bo Scaife joined Jay Morzaria of Sports Cannabis to discuss his movement and take a deep dive into All Pro Farms.

JM :

Before we chat about everything that you’ve taken on since you’ve retired. The journey for you started with football, a sport that you dominated early on. From the University of Texas, all the way over to the Tennessee Titans, what was it about football that ultimately made you want to make a career out of it?

Bo Scaife :

I just love competition and love the competitive nature of football.  Football is a violent, real upbeat sport, with a lot of great players, and great moments inside the sport. I’ve always loved the competitive aspect, being around those great athletes, the freedom that you get to have and feel in football.  From the combativeness, to the explosiveness, or even just the energy you get to play with, you’re able to yell, dance, scream and hit people, it’s intoxicating.  Beyond that, football was something that offered and allowed me to really showcase every God given ability and talent that I’ve been blessed with.  I think a lot of guys feel the same way, you’re on the football field and you’re free to be who God created you to be.  I’ve always loved the freedom out there and the competitive nature in competition.

JM :

There’s a saying, “You can play Injured, but you can’t play hurt”.  We’ve spoken to past retired NFL athletes, who have alluded to the prevalence of opioids, and different solutions that are prescribed to stay in game ready.  For you, as a tight end, what was that experience like and when were you introduced to Cannabis for recovery and relief?

Bo Scaife :

Well, I think most people know the history of my three ACL injuries in five years back when I was at the University of Texas. It was a very dark time in my life, where things were just kind of spiraling downwards out of control. You know, I’m literally watching my hopes and dreams vanish before my eyes, and at that point, I really felt like cannabis picked me up.  What I mean by that, was that I was on opioids, during those surgeries.  You’re always prescribed stuff to help you heal, speed up your recovery and stuff like that, but they never really resonated with my body.  I always felt sick, mentaly off as well and could tell opioids were having a negative impact on my life. So, you know, I started using cannabis a little more often during that time.  One thing that really helped me was obviously meditating on the situation.  Taking a deeper look at it, trying to find some blessings and things that I could still be thankful for. Even though I was going through one of the worst storms in my life at the time, the silver lining of it all, was the actual benefits that I was experiencing from actually using cannabis.  I was able to wean myself off the opioid, painkillers and the inflammation prescribed drugs and found that cannabis was giving me that relief. In Turn it also gave me relief physically as well as the ability to cope with the situation I was dealing with.  It put me in a better place than I was, when I was just on prescription drugs. Pills can fuel depression, they make you numb to everything and I think cannabis kind of does the opposite in that regard. So that’s really when I really started becoming a huge believer in cannabis and the benefits and how therapeutic it was for me.

JM :

What was the cannabis ah-ha moment for you?

Bo Scaife :

The ah-ha moment was getting sick from the other stuff and immediately noticing a dramatic difference when I consumed cannabis versus when I was popping pain pills, or doing other things that weren’t good for my body.  Typically, your body naturally rejects things that aren’t good and cannabis is different.  The ah-ha moment was really just the experience in itself and then comparing the contrast and how each of those made me feel.

JM :

Do you still use cannabis today and where do you find it helps you the most?

Bo Scaife :

“I definitely still use cannabis.  Unfortunately, I have a lot of degenerative injuries from football and suffer from a lot of things that other athletes suffer from, like; PTSD, anxiety and depression.  It’s an everyday battle.  When you’ve played the sport for so long, you retire from playing and you’re trying to find yourself.  During that transition, you almost feel like damaged goods and like you’ll never get rid of all these injuries.  Cannabis has always been a way for me to solve those relief issues as well as the pain and other mental systems that I was dealing with. I’ve taken the time to learn and educate myself about the benefits of cannabis and get involved in the industry.  I’ve truly enjoyed learning about the plant, seeing the source, watching how it’s created, manufactured and cultivated.  It’s given me a really unique perspective and appreciation for the plant.”

JM :

Today, you’re using your platform to foster a larger conversation, one of advocacy, education and  a push to break the stigma.  What made you want to use your platform to normalize the plant?

Bo Scaife :

It started with getting involved in the industry, really digging my feet into it and understanding what the benefits were about the plant.  We were fed so much misinformation on cannabis, how it was so bad and evil for you growing up.  It started early and led us in the wrong direction.  We were fed propaganda and used for ulterior motives, by politicians or by the people in charge, and it’s only when you really get inside these gardens, watch these plants grow, or get your hands on the flower that you gain an entirely new perspective on it. Growing cannabis is like growing your own food or your own vegetables. Today, that’s the level that I’m dealing with cannabis.  I’ve trained, learned and educated myself on the benefits of these plants.  I’ve learned how the process works, how to cultivate the plants and how to provide proper care and environments for them.  Because of that, my perspective on cannabis is extremely unique.  I think anyone who is opposed to cannabis, bring them inside one of these environments where you’re able to see how everything works and I think they’ll have a whole different perspective on it as well.

JM :

Making strides off the field, you’ve shifted focused onto the cannabis industry and have created a unique offering for athletes and the cannabis community. Talk to us about All Pro Farms.

Bo Scaife :

Today, Pro Farms is 140 acres, located down in southern Colorado. Initially, like everybody else, I was a part of the green rush, and I wanted to get involved in cultivating, as well as growing and selling cannabis. That was my limited perspective when I first entered the industry, however it’s really turned into a passion project and a real estate development project for me. I’m so infatuated with this plant that I’ve created and built an experience for people to come enjoy cannabis.  What we’re turning All Pro Farms into is a unique cannabis friendly destination and experience for cannabis.  Right now, we are in phase one and building out state of the art cultivations, designed and engineered specifically for cannabis.  They are clean environments, engineered for cannabis which will get us the best results. It’s disappointing because a lot of cannabis is grown in old warehouses and in other structures that do not provide for optimal growing conditions. They deal with a lot of issues and factors that aren’t helpful to cultivating the plant. I think it gives myself a nice competitive advantage and allows me to produce a premium product.  Eventually, I would love to add some retail and overnight accommodations down there. One thing that I’m really excited about and that’s in the works with the city down in southern Colorado is a cannabis centric wellness resort. I’m excited to see it come to life and I’m planning for it to come online in future.

JM :

Which audience are you ultimately targeting?

Bo Scaife :

Athletes are the main demographic and have always been a strong vehicle for change.  I also want to cater to the mature consumer base, business owners, business professionals, people who are the decision makers, the ones that have a lot of undertaking and responsibility in their lives. I’m not the type of consumer that smokes to get or be extremely high.  I have to lead my team, and be able to make strong decisions to help push these projects and this business forward. At the end of the day, I just love creating products that help people relax and provide a sense of relief so they can make the best decisions for themselves and for whatever they’re taking on.

JM :

I’ve had an opportunity to take a look at the All Pro Farms website and noticed the first annual Smoke Session promo which is coming to life in the near future. What can we expect?

Bo Scaife :

“I love the Smoke Session events and we’re going to launch our first one here in the next few weeks.  We want to be able to give people the opportunity to come and sample our cannabis flower that we’re launching into the market.  I’ve found that’s always the best way.  Get people involved, let them taste and try it.  It will resemble a wine tasting, being in a comfortable environment where you can consume cannabis, network and talk about the plant.  We want you to be able to talk about things that are interesting in the cannabis industry and just be able to have a great conversation around the plant.  That’s really the atmosphere that I want to provide. The plant still has so much stigma around it and I want to create a comfortable and relaxing event for people to come and enjoy the plant.”

JM :

Looking forward, what are you working on in 2022?

Bo Scaife :

“2022 is really about launching and growing this brand, the All Pro brand. We’ve been in stores for about a year now and we’re really starting to take off.  We’re taking on more stores, putting out more flower, merch and education into the marketplace for people to learn about the plant and be able to experience high quality, premium cannabis products.  For me, a huge goal this year is growing the brand as well as getting the awareness out to the public, not just here in Colorado, but all over the country.”

JM :

Shifting focus back to the NFL, we’re seeing a slow adoption.  Recently, the NFL Pledged 1 Million to two teams from the University of San Diego and the University of Regina in Canada. They were selected by the NFL and the NFL Players Association’s Joint Pain Management Committee to investigate the effects of cannabinoids on pain management and neuroprotection from concussion in elite football players.  Over the 2021 season, the NFL made approximately $9.8 Billion in revenue with 32 teams receiving a record breaking $309 million each. Despite making strides forward, do you believe this is enough?

Bo Scaife :

“I don’t think it’s enough, but I think it is a step in the right direction. I think the NFL looks at cannabis as a slippery slope because it’s not federally legal yet. So, it’s one foot in, and one foot out for them. I do appreciate that they are trying to move forward with these discussions, and these are discussions that I, myself, would love to have with the NFL at some point.  I hope that we are able to deschedule this substance to something that is legal and give people access to it without any consequences or repercussions.  The NFL, like you said, has the resources to really investigate and examine cannabis and I just hope they do that and that they take the results from the data to make informed decisions that are in the best interests of the players and athletes all over.”

JM :

Do you think that we’re trending in the direction of potentially seeing a season where they don’t test for cannabis, similar to what we’ve seen in the NBA?

Bo Scaife :

“I think it is definitely on the agenda and on the board.  I’m sure we’ll see cannabis not tested in the NFL, and be a part of everyone’s everyday life, like alcohol has been.  I think we’ll be able to determine that cannabis is definitely a more viable option then alcohol and prescription drugs, and that’s really the progress that we’re looking for.  Giving athletes the option to try something else that might be better for them than the alternatives.”

JM :

With an opportunity to change a dialogue and normalize the conversation, it’s important to also focus on issues like social injustices and equity issues that still need to be tackled.  For you, where does the focus need to be?

Bo Scaife :

“It starts with making premium products that provide people with the benefits that they’re looking for.  In every major industry, we’re seeing a lack of representation for black and brown people and that’s always going to be something that needs to be addressed.  For me, taking on this undertaking, putting together a team that is really helping me build, manage and push these projects forward has been huge for me.  Like any sport, you need a strong team, and the same goes with any business.  I think that’s probably one of the struggles in the cannabis industry is really finding those teams that understand the industry, understand the plan, understand how to move it forward and how to grow it to its full potential.  For me, one of my main focuses is to be able to do that, and to be a model of that, especially as an African American male.  We don’t get a lot of opportunities, so I don’t take this opportunity for granted, and I want to knock it out of the park, so that the people behind me and after me, can benefit from it.”

JM :

After retiring from the NFL you went on to complete your MBA at George Washington University. Looking forward, how do we empower the next generation of cannabis athletes and entrepreneurs?

Bo Scaife :

“Leading by example, it really is leading by example.  I want to be a good model, a voice of reason, and a good example for athletes, no matter the age or the sport.  We as athletes, can take the things that we’ve learned in sports, and use it as a launching pad into something else. Cannabis ultimately saved my life because it has provided benefits that have helped with my symptoms and the things that I battled on a daily basis.  It’s also given me purpose and direction. After football, a lot of athletes struggle with finding that second career or finding that second thing that they’re passionate about, and cannabis has definitely given me that.”

JM :

For others looking to follow in your footsteps, what piece of advice can you offer them?

Bo Scaife :

“Figure out what you love and care about and go after it. I think in this busy world that we live in, we spread ourselves too thin, trying to do so many things, and we want to have all these hustles.  The problem is when you have so many other hustles, it takes away from everything that you’re really trying to accomplish. Hone in on one thing that you love and care about and become really great at it, and it’s going to feed you forever.   Personally, I’ve tried not to overdo things, not do too much and really focus on just one thing that I love doing, which is cannabis.  It’s really given me something that  holds my focus and allowed me to become a student of the game with an opportunity to learn as much as I can. I’m laying the foundation now so I can put my best foot forward and build something that is going to be strong and last a lifetime.

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