“I got scared and nervous,” said Nico, describing how an unprecedented public health crisis derailed his original launch party and rollout plans. “I called everyone. It was literally seven days [before the launch]. I spoke to my parents about it. They told me just go. I relaxed. I closed my eyes and released it. I went from scared to relieved to happy. It worked out beautifully.”
Nico’s desire to carve his own niche motivated him not to get involved with Marley Natural, the thriving family cannabis brand that was developed by the Bob Marley estate in conjunction with Privateer Holdings, the cannabis-focused private equity firm. “My brothers and sisters and cousins—we are trying to make our own legend,” he explained. “We see ourselves as kings. So, we have our own jungle—trying to be king and queen of our own jungle.”
Being the grandson of reggae legend Bob Marley might be a burden for some but not Nico Marley. A former NFL player, the 25-year-old scion is not only proud of his grandfather’s legacy, he is happily treading in his path. However, it’s not music that galvanizes Nico these days but cannabis.
An outspoken proponent and devout user, Bob Marley championed what he deemed to be the curative, healing aspects of cannabis. Decades later, Nico is picking up the family mantle with the launch of Lion X, a new hemp-based CBD product line. Targeted for the “forever millennial looking to get the most out of life,” Lion X seems to be the natural offshoot of Nico’s family heritage. His dream nearly got dashed, however, when the timing of Lion X’s market debut on April 22 (Earth Day) went head on with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yet, his grandfather’s ineradicable impact remains a strong inspiration. “It’s the forefront of my purpose now,” he said, as he expounded on how his family lineage informs his Lion X line. “All of that put together makes me want to be a businessman and set an example for who will come after me—my kids, nieces and nephews.”
It sounds like a caption you’d find in an Instagram sponsored post, underneath a photo of a silky-haired woman sunning on a sugar-white beach. But in fact, it’s a quote from NFL player-turned-entrepreneur Nico Marley, whose company Lion X Wellness launched last April.
Let’s start with your family legacy. What kind of wellness-related insight did you gain from your upbringing?
I believe that we live in a society where we thrive and survive on the “each one teach one” method, and the only way to gain knowledge is through other people. I had the benefit of having that experience with CBD, and I’d love for people to feel that impact that I felt. I want to be able to teach people about how CBD has helped me and how much it has other people recover from pain. Through this method, we can correct misconceptions and educate our communities.
Which of the Lion X products do you use most often, and why?
Herb is an essential part of my family history. My grandfather (Bob Marley) said years ago, “Herb is the healing of the nation,” and my family has lived by that saying ever since. My father would always say if you’re going to use the plant, make sure you use it for the right reasons. Not just to get high, but to connect to your mind, body, and soul. I was never much of a smoker myself, especially since I played sports, so I had to find other ways for me to connect to my body, mind, and soul. In college, I wanted to consume and use natural products for recovery, just like my family has been for years. I started using CBD as a way to boost my overall wellness, as well as something that would help me recover from my games.