I usually don’t relate personal stories in this space, but today I’m making an exception.
January 22nd, 1989, almost 30 years ago to the day that I’m writing this. I don’t remember what the weather was like around my home in a suburb of Cincinnati, but I’m sure it was cold. In fact, thirty years has clouded most of my memories of the mundane aspects of that day, but there are a few things about that night that I will not forget any time soon.
Those of you who are old enough to remember Super Bowl XXIII (see video below) probably know where I’m going with this. With about 3 minutes to go in the game, my beloved Cincinnati Bengals led the San Francisco 49ers 16 to 13. The 49ers offense, led by already legendary quarterback Joe Montana, had the ball at their own 8-yard line, meaning they had to drive 92 yards to score the game-winning touchdown.
And, of course, they did. Joe Montana marched his team down the field and hit wide receiver John Taylor in the back of the end zone with 34 seconds left in the game. I was nine years old and I was crushed. Tears streamed down my face.
What’s the point of all this? Well, besides being kind of cathartic for me, this story is my long way of leading into Joe Montana’s recent monetary investment in the legal cannabis industry. While I applaud investments in the legal marijuana industry that will help grow the industry in the years to come, Joe Montana’s name and face give rise to a visceral reaction in me, like my nine-year-old self trying to fight his way out and exact his revenge.
Well, maybe not something as dramatic as all that, but you get my point. It’s like seeing the bully who beat you up in grade school reading to blind children thirty years later. It creates mixed emotions.
Yet one thing fans and haters of Joe Montana alike know very well is that he is a winner. And the marijuana industry needs winners now more than ever as it fights its way through a myriad of rules, regulations and tax rates to take its place as the mainstream multi-billion dollar industry it should always have been.
As for the nuts-and-bolts of the investment itself, Montana is part of a $75 million stake in Caliva, a San Jose, California-based group that said it’s using the money to grow a company that includes a farm, a retail store, distribution center and a delivery service. He’s part of a growing group of NFL veterans that are publicly questioning the way players are treated for their ailments, saying cannabis “can provide relief to many people and can make a serious impact on opioid use or addiction.”
Despite my feelings, when it’s time to get something done, I would put my money on Joe Montana to get it done.