Malawi has named boxing star Mike Tyson as the country’s official cannabis ambassador.
Agriculture Minister Lobin Low sent a letter to Tyson urging him to take on the role and said legitimacy in Malawi had created new opportunities.
Tyson, a former world heavyweight 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 sexual misconduct in the 1990s.
“Malawi cannot do that alone as this sector is complex [and requires] cooperation. Lowe wrote.
The American Cannabis Association was facilitating the deal with Tyson, the Department of Agriculture said.
The head of his Malawi branch, Wezi Ngalamila, told the BBC that the former boxer accepted the invitation and plans were underway to visit the country.
“Tyson will work with us,” he said.
Malawi legalized the cultivation and processing of cannabis for medical purposes last year, but failed to legalize it for personal use.
The country’s agriculture ministry has urged farmers to grow cannabis for medical purposes as well as hemp for industrial use.
The government hopes that Tyson’s support “will attract some investors and even buyers,” ministry spokeswoman Gracian Lungu told AFP news agency.