Boxing legend Héctor “Macho” Camacho, has, to this day, a fan following all over the world. His son Hector Camacho Jr., also a prize fighter, has just launched Macho Time Cannabis, a cannabis brand in California that honors his father’s memory and pays tribute to his iconic flamboyance as a boxer in the ring.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Spanish Harlem, New York, Macho Camacho was a man of the people. His career as a boxer was storied but filled with wins, and he leveraged his success to become a television icon.
Referring to his nickname Macho, his famous motto was, “It’s Macho Time!” For his son Camacho Jr., Macho Time might as well be 4:20, aka the time to light a joint.
A boxer in his own right, Camacho Jr. dropped Macho Time Cannabis late last year and it has already been a success.
The company came about when a longtime friend and Sacramento boxing ring owner Bobby Sanchez approached Camacho about going into the weed business.
Being a lifelong pot smoker, Camacho was interested, but torn.
“I’m like bro, I would love to but I’m a fighter right now, I’m a role model for these kids,” he says.
“I gave it thought and said, you know what, man? Maybe we can educate people about the benefits of cannabis, and how it can help the fighters,” Camacho says. With that, he decided to go all in and create Macho Time Cannabis.
Camacho has seen the benefits of weed for himself as a fighter and as an artist, and he wants others in the boxing community to get better informed about the plant’s benefits.
“We want to put the best product out there. This isn’t about money for us, it’s about educating.”
Macho Time Cannabis’s first strain drop was the Sativa strain Cherry Lemonada. The team worked with Sacramento’s Delta Boyz to source and distribute the flower.
Camacho personally sampled strains to find the best one to launch with. He went with Cherry Lemonada because of its taste and effect.
“I like to get up in the morning and smoke my weed, smoke my sativa. I need that energy, that creativity. I start writing, I start painting, I do children’s books,” Camacho says.
“The taste is awesome. And it gives me the energy that I’m looking for.”
Camacho says that growing up around family members smoking weed convinced him that it wasn’t a “drug” in the negative sense, despite the stigma.
“My grandmother was a big smoker, my father was a smoker. My aunts, my uncles. That’s what it was in the house, it wasn’t drinking it was smoking,” Camacho says, of growing up in Harlem.
“That’s why I became a smoker. I never saw nobody overdose, never saw nobody act crazy, you know? Everybody was happy when they would smoke, dancing. It was a good feeling.”
Camacho Jr. has been smoking, he says, since he was a kid. His first memory of smoking was of his father getting him high and taking him toy shopping.
“You want a He-Man toy? Ok, take a shotgun,” Camacho Jr. shares, quoting his father. “I didn’t know what a shotgun was. He blew it in my mouth, I was like 8 years old. I was high as a motherfucker, I remember going to the toy store and seeing the He-Man castle and he bought it for me. I started smoking at age 8.”
Camacho found that smoking didn’t get in the way of his success as a boxer, and actually helped with the aches, pains, sleeplessness, and pre-concussion problems that boxers deal with.
Still, stigma permeates the topic of weed in both the Latino and boxing communities. But, Macho Time Cannabis cofounder Sanchez says this is changing, which he can see by the positive response the brand launch has gotten.
“We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback not just from fans but from Puerto Rican community, the Latino community, the boxing community,” Sanchez says.
Sanchez says that despite the stigma, cannabis is popular in the boxing community. “It’s more popular than a lot of people think and a lot of people would know. Not everybody wants to come out and say they use it. You still have those people that think it’s still a bad thing. But all that’s changing,” Sanchez says.
Camacho Jr. says that the tides are turning now that more boxers are openly part of the cannabis industry.
“Fighters are finally crossing over. For us, there’s a stigma, it was associated with drugs. Now we got fighters crossing over. It’s only gonna get bigger,” Camacho Jr. says.
Camacho Jr. is just one of several boxers getting into weed, the most well known being Mike Tyson with his Tyson 2.0 brand. (Incidentally, the first Camacho to drop a strain was actually his brother, Christian, also a fighter. Christian put out a strain called “Macho” a few years ago with the Backpack Boyz.)
The packaging for Macho Time Cannabis features an illustration of Hector Camacho senior after winning a fight. The brand is intended to keep his father’s name alive.
“I did this with two purposes. Of course to educate but also to keep the name Macho Camacho relevant,” Camacho Jr. says.
“Most of the youth are the weed smokers, and the younger generation don’t even remember my father. They don’t know Macho Camacho. But having Macho Camacho on weed packages, they’re buying it, they’ll smoke it, they’ll remember the name.”
He says his father would approve. “We’re just keeping him alive, keeping him relevant. I think he would be proud of me.”
Camacho, Sanchez, and partner Vinny Versace all see the brand growing, first throughout the state and then to the East Coast. They’d like to do edibles, drinkables and topicals, plus more strains with more colorful packaging, matching Camacho senior’s style.
Camacho Jr. sees the cannabis industry as an opportunity for people like himself. He says he wants to help other boxers get involved, to pass the torch on to others.
“It’s rare you see a Latin owner, you know? I want my people to invest, to get involved in this cannabis business. It’s big business. Before they close up on us.”
For Sanchez, the pace of growth has been a welcome surprise. This was only an idea a few years ago, he said.
“I’m still amazed on how far already we are into this. It’s from having a strong team. I want to thank Hector Camacho Jr. & Clay Dustin and my partner Vince because without them this couldn’t have moved. Thanks to the Delta Boyz and Karim Mayfield of Authentic 415 and Shawn of Berners on Haight for their support and efforts to taking this brand to the next level.”