Eb's Smoke Signals - Issue 1

Welcome Hotboxers!

This is the first ever issue of Eb’s Smoke Signals, a.k.a. the Hotboxin’ Blog. I am very excited to share with you all the behind-the-scenes mayhem from the Hotboxin’ HQ. Every week on this platform I will share with you news about Mike, Tyson Ranch and my wild view of the world. 

June 30 was Mike’s 53rd birthday, also, National Toad Day, go figure. If you are a person who believes that life is nothing but a meaningless series of coincidences you cannot be my friend. Everything here is connected. Every single thing in this universe down to the tiniest particle is connected and happening according to a divine plan. I don’t want to turn this into a philosophical rant this soon so more on that later. 

June 30, 2019 also marked a little over a year since I first met Mike. What an extraordinary year it has been. Many of you have asked how Mike and I met. So, in this first episode of the blog I am going to tell you that story. 

One morning I received a Facebook message from a former colleague of mine in the National Football League.

“Eb, I’m starting to educate myself on this CBD and cannabis stuff, I’ve been following you since you left and you seem like the guy to talk to…I’m coming out to LA next week for medical cannabis summit hosted by MIKE TYSON”. 

“Mike Tyson?” I say. 

“Yes, Mike Tyson, he has a new cannabis company called Tyson Ranch”

“Hmmm…” I say to myself. 

I had spent the last 3 years deep in the cannabis industry. I went to most of the major conferences, got to know many of the major players, executives, companies, categories, etc. And I had no idea Mike was involved.

“That’s cool.” I tell him.

“I want to introduce you to Mike’s partner Rob” 

“Ok, great”

Soon after this conversation I’m on the phone with Rob. Rob Hickman is a magician for lack of a better term. I’m not talking about a David Blaine type magician. I’m talking about a magician with people. A man who understands how to put teams together. How personalities may congeal or not in the mechanics of an office system. I learned this over time of course but his resume spoke of success. Protégé to the infamous Jerry Weintraub, an internet company with Frank Sinatra, and The Foreman Grill! It wasn’t difficult to see that Rob understood how to build successful companies. 

“Eb, how ya doin'?” Rob says, a crisp voice in my ear, it sounded clean.

“I’m good Rob, how are you?”

“Good, now listen, I’ve gotta put on this summit next week and I have nothing. I need speakers, I need a presentation, I need someone to come in here and help me put this thing on, can you help me with that?”

I laugh, there was no bullshit, 

“Yea I can help you with that man.” I say. 

“Great, I need you to come into the office to talk with the team to get this thing pulled together…”


Text Message:


I’m going to facetime you with Mike. I want to introduce you so he knows you’re cool.



Facetime rings. I answer. It’s Rob and next to him is Kid Dynamite himself, Mr. Mike Tyson. They were in a lounge in some unknown place. Mike had a joint burning, eyes squinting to see my face in the phone, smiling gently.

“Hey Mike, I’m Eben”

“Hey brother it’s good to meet you” He said.

“I’m stoked to help you with your event brother.”

“Yes, it’s gonna be great” 

“Alright Eb we’ll see you on Friday!” Rob came in.

“Sounds good, you guys have a great day!” I say as we clicked off.

Friday came. I took the long jaunt across town on the 405 down to the Tyson Ranch HQ in El Segundo. I met with the entire team. Broke down the basics of presenting a medical cannabis and sports panel. Figured out bringing the athletes in, some doctors, cannabis researchers, a former NBA team owner. At some point there was a stir. Chatter in the office came to a whisper. I heard “Mike’s here” float through the air. 

It felt big. As if a figure of Greek mythology was coming into the building. And in many ways that is exactly what was happening. There seemed to be a rush of energy flowing through the office towards the back lounge where I sat with Rob. Carried in by the wind came the titan himself. Once the most feared man on the planet. He said hello to everyone. I stood to greet him. Looked him in the eye and said “Mike it’s great to meet you my brother”. “It’s great to meet you Eben,” Mike said as we embraced in a handshake hug. I was overwhelmed by his humility and his humanity. And somehow it felt as though we had known each other our entire lives. 

We put on a helluva cannabis and sports summit. Which you can see here (insert link to Tyson Summit hilite). And the story just continues to unfold.

We’ve got an incredible month of podcasts coming your way. Deep conversations with Warrior woman Cris Cyborg and Trae The Truth pepper the calendar. Also, keep a look out for exciting developments with the Professional Fight League (PFL) which you can find on ESPN.

Finally, each week I will leave you with a “Meditation of the Week”.  This will be either a technique I use in my own meditation practice, a thought for you to ponder or even a mini-workout.

Meditation of The Week:

Question everything. Take some time this week to ask questions. Question what you know. Question what you consider “normal”. Question the foods you choose to eat. Questions the advertisements you see when you’re watching your favorite show. Question the old ideas you still hold onto from your childhood. Question the thoughts that come into your mind. Pay attention to what answers come. Am I doing this because it feels right in my heart or am I doing this because that person over there told me it was the right thing to do? See what your Self has to say. What do you feel?

Lots of love to you all as you hit your grind this week. Remember to stay true to yourself. Be kind to others and the universe will take care of the rest. It is my belief that in life all we must do is learn to get out of our own way so that we may ride the wave of the universe towards our destiny.

Until next time my friends.

Love and peace,

Eben Britton (EB)  

Ben Mason