Image source, Image caption, The former boxer runs a multi-million dollar cannabis business in the United States
Malawi has asked boxing star Mike Tyson to become the official ambassador for the country's cannabis cultivation.
Minister of Agriculture Lobin Low sent a letter to Tyson urging him to take on the role, and saidlega in Malawi had created new opportunities.
Tyson, a former heavyweight world champion, is an entrepreneur and has invested in a cannabis farm in the United States.
But the move has been criticized by some as the former boxer was jailed for sex offenses in the 1990s.
"Malawi may not go it alone as the industry is complex [ and requires] collaboration, so I would like to appoint you, Mr. Mike Tyson, as the Malawi Cannabis Branch Ambassador, "Mr. Lowe wrote.
The United States Cannabis Association was facilitating the deal with Tyson, the Agriculture Department said.
Local media reported that Tyson was due to visit Malawi last week, but the trip was postponed.
Malawi has legalized the cultivation and processing of cannabis to medical purposes last year, but failed to legalize it for personal use.
The Department of 'Agriculture nationwide has encouraged farmers to grow medical cannabis as well as industrial hemp.
Tyson said smoking cannabis has helped improve his mental health and change his life. Some studies, however, have suggested that smoking potent cannabis may increase your risk for serious mental illness.
The Center for Public Accountability, a Malawian civil society group, has slammed the latest decision because of the Tyson's previous crimes.
The former boxer was jailed in 1992 after being convicted of rape in Indiana. He was released in 1995 after serving less than three years of his sentence.
"The CPA does not understand why Malawi would want to have a convicted rapist as its brand ambassador, especially in this regard. moment, as efforts to address violence against women are on the government's agenda, "the DirectorInterim of the group, Kondwani Munthali, said in a statement.
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