A few weeks ago, NBA veteran Keyon Dooling, a basketball guard who played for the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics, announced he was launching a new CBD product line, Krafted Organics, in partnership with California cannabis and CBD company Camp Green Organics.
Interested in learning more about this venture and Dooling’s history with cannabis, DOPE Magazine sat down for a chat.
An Unexpected Way To Deal With Trauma
At age seven, Dooling was a victim of sexual abuse. This, he says, led him to start “drinking, smoking and being promiscuous at a very early age.” It was during his formative years and under a set of unfortunate circumstances that Dooling was introduced to cannabis.
As he grew older, scars did not heal completely. This meant that, during his 13-year NBA career, Dooling still had to battle with PTSD on a daily basis.
“I spent four days in a mental institution and on my healing journey I tried so many things, such as traditional prescription drugs and it had such a negative impact on my body, on my mind, on my spirit, that I knew it wasn’t the thing that would help me heal at the rate I needed to heal,” Dooling shares.
So, Dooling decided to move to California and take a “more holistic approach” to healing his mind, using essential oils, practicing yoga and regular visits to a massage therapist.
“What I found is that CBD was the thing that really helped me with my anxiety, because I have degenerative hips and a lot of inflammation in my body, so it really helps me with pain management,” he revealed. “I played with Alonzo Mourning when he had issues with his kidneys and he was telling us about all the anti-inflammatories that they were loading us up with. So, in my post career I wanted to give my kidneys, my liver, and all those things a rest. CBD oil stepped in and it just flat out changed my life.”
From Dooling’s positive experience with CBD, Krafted Organics was born. Camp Green Organics’ SVP of Marketing, Emery “Wolf” Morrison, explains that all of Krafted Organics’ products are made with organically grown hemp. “The good thing about being in California is that, because of the regulations, we follow the same regulations that the state requires for cannabis for our hemp products, even though the hemp industry is not regulated as much as the cannabis industry is.”
“We regulate ourselves … we don’t cut corners,” Morrison adds.
These high-CBD products, Dooling explained, help him relax and cope with his PTSD and anxiety issues. “I feel better and for me that is worth its weight in gold.”
Dooling assures that, since he started medicating with CBD, he has had no relapses around his post-traumatic stress disorder. “That’s not the only thing that works, obviously,” he clarified. “But CBD is one of the things that is consistently in my day- to-day routine.”
A Minority Owned Business
During our conversation, both Dooling and Morrison brought up the importance of supporting minority-owned cannabis companies. “What we want to make sure too, is that as a minority owned company … we are at the table to also reap the benefits. To provide our children and our grandchildren with the ability for wealth and opportunities,” Morrison said.
“We want to make sure we are not left out. This is why we’re excited to have Keyon as a part of this.”
So far, Camp Green Organics has been self-funded. “We don’t have institutionalized wealth to be able to go and grab somebody and say ‘hey, here’s the opportunity, would you like invest in our company,’” he explained.
Fundraising for a minority owned cannabis company requires creativity, he explained. “It is difficult … we’ve had to be creative and we’ve had to go into circles that we normally don’t go into and be uncomfortable. And that’s okay, we accept that challenge, but it would be good for it to be opened up a little more for investment opportunities. It is a little bit of a struggle because us, as a community, don’t have that long money to be able to take risks.”