ROSS RE­BAGLIATI

ROSS RE­BAGLIATI: PI­O­NEER OF THE POT LE­GAL­IZA­TION JOUR­NEY

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY ROBIN SHORT Robin Short is sports ed­i­tor at The Tele­gram in St. John’s.

It was maybe a year or two af­ter the 1998 Olympic Win­ter Games, and Ross Re­bagliati was still rid­ing a high, as it were, from his gold-medal win in Nagano, Ja­pan. The Cana­dian snow­boarder was train­ing in Colorado on Cop­per Moun­tain. An hour away, in Den­ver. The Rolling Stones were booked to play at the Pepsi Cen­tre and Re­bagliati was in­vited to the show as a guest of Roots, his main spon­sor. We’ll let Re­bagliati pick it up from here: “We had a back­stage pass with the band,” he re­calls. “And in this room off­stage were these In­dian ta­pes­tries hang­ing from the wall. And these Afghan rugs. The Stones like them, ap­par­ently. And then — how’s this for con­trast — there’s this life­size cutout of Elvis. And in his mouth is a big, fat joint. A real one. “We’re stand­ing around, and Keith (Richards) comes out and says, ‘Well, we’d bet­ter smoke this be­fore the show. Can’t leave this here.’ So we smoke the joint. It was great. We had a real nice con­ver­sa­tion. “Twenty min­utes later, I’m in the front row watch­ing The Rolling Stones, watch­ing Keith Richards up there play­ing the gui­tar, and Mick Jag­ger is jump­ing around and singing, and I’m like, ‘This is amaz­ing.’ I’m stoned, and I know Keith is stoned be­cause we just smoked the same joint. “It was wild.” If there’s ever been an ath­lete so in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to cannabis, it’s Canada’s B.C. golden boy, Ross Re­bagliati. Think Cheech and Chong on half­pipe (snow­board run, that is). So isn’t it ironic that ex­actly 20 years af­ter his gold-medal run on Mount Yakebitai, Re­bagliati is look­ing to cap­i­tal­ize on cannabis le­gal­iza­tion, come Oct. 17? Re­bagliati has ac­tu­ally been pre­par­ing for this day for some time with Ross’s Gold, a high-end bou­tique in Kelowna, B.C. For­get wine. We’re talk­ing cannabis … bongs over mer­lots. But as D-Day ap­proaches, when it be­comes le­gal to spark up in pub­lic, Re­bagliati is re­think­ing his ap­proach to turn­ing a buck on grass. Hence the launch of his new brand, Le­gacy, fo­cus­ing on re­tail cannabis prod­ucts, from or­ganic soil sys­tems, to home-grow­ing cannabis plant kits, to Le­gacy Bites, a sort of en­ergy bar which has cannabid­iol, or CBDs, which Re­bagliati says of­fers pain re­lief and is a “very pow­er­ful” anti-in­flam­ma­tory. Le­gacy, he says, will also be look­ing at ac­quir­ing its own li­censed pro­ducer of cannabis. “When you have a li­cence to pro­duce,” he said, “it gives you other li­cences like im­port and ex­port li­cences, and the abil­ity to pur­chase from other pro­duc­ers. And, of course, you have the cre­den­tials to al­low you to sell to the liquor board and get your prod­uct out into the var­i­ous re­tail out­lets. “We’re plan­ning on hav­ing Le­gacy out­lets right around the world, ac­tu­ally.” Re­bagliati ad­mits the whole cannabis thing is part of his le­gacy — hence the name of his com­pany — and he says he’s proud to wear that as a badge of hon­our. He’s been speaking about the ben­e­fits of cannabis 20 years now, he says, since back when the sub­ject was hush, hush. And now, he says, it lends cred­i­bil­ity to his lat­est ven­ture. “I didn’t just come up with this when le­gal­iza­tion came about,” he says. “I was part of the le­gal­iza­tion.”

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