Professional Football Player to Cannabis Farmer

Oct 11, 2021

Today, Ball Family Farms, a cannabis operation in California, plans to double the square footage of its indoor vertical farming operation and add 150 more LED grow lights. The journey to this point has been quite a story.

Chris Ball went to training camp with the San Francisco 49ers, spent one season with NFL Europe’s Berlin Thunder, and two seasons with the Canadian Football League before becoming founder and CEO of Ball Family Farms, 100 percent family-owned and black-owned.

Ball says that cannabis has always been a part of his life. He grew up with it as other family members used it. He tried it at an early age then attempted to sell it at age 16. Jail time resulted from Ball trying to supplement his football income by selling cannabis he brought into the US from Canada. In 2017 the city of Los Angeles launched a social equity program. Ball’s felony charge for selling marijuana qualified Chris to receive the social equity license to grow cannabis in a twist of fate.

Ball Family Farms endured a 10-month application process that made Ball Family Farms a legally licensed commercial cannabis distributor. Four months later, Ball Family Farms obtained a cultivation license followed by a manufacturing license in October 2020 (the manufacturing license allows them to make pre-rolled joints and concentrates). Ball Family Farms began with four employees with one strain of cannabis flower to 24 employees and over a half-dozen hybrid strains. The operation harvests 3,000 pounds of cannabis annually.