Black Excellence

Lion X: The Brand Improving Your Wellness

There are changemakers using gifts like music, writing, sports, art, and more as vehicles to reach and help those in their community. Nico Marley is using his knowledge of all-natural CBD products to assist those who are looking to improve their overall wellness. Let’s meet the man behind Lion X, the brand improving your wellness.

Nico Marley, a former NFL player and grandson of Bob Marley, founded Lion X Wellness, a Black-owned and operated CBD wellness line. Lion X intends to heal communities and provide therapeutic wellness that refines the mind, strengthens the body, and fuels the soul.

Herb has played an essential part in Nico’s life and family history. His grandfather’s interest and passion for herbs were passed down to Marley. After making the decision to leave the NFL, Marley wanted to give back to his peers who play sports professionally and individuals who rely on CBD and other natural wellness products. He saw first hand the extraordinary benefits and the crucial role it plays in their everyday lives.

I had the chance to talk with Marley to learn more about Lion X, how it’s helping others, and the future plans he has for his company.

A Chat With Nico Marley

Lion X - Nico Marley

BE: Growing up and hearing stories about your grandfather, Bob Marley, who was an advocate for wellness, how do you think that shaped you + your desire to take care of yourself?

NM: Bob Marley said years ago, “Herb is the healing of the nation,” and my family has lived by that saying ever since. My father would always say if you’re going to use the plant, make sure you use it for the right reasons. Not just to get high, but to connect to your mind, body, and soul.

Although I never met my grandfather, his words and his music have spoken volumes to me. It would help me before a game, after a game, getting ready in the morning, and at night before bed. I’m not one to use cannabis often, but my grandfather and other family members have shown me how to care for my health through other forms of natural healing like CBD, working out, eating healthy, and making time to stay active.

BE: Being an athlete all of your life and having everyone see you perform at such high levels, what was it like transitioning from the NFL to creating your own business that helps others perform at the highest levels? 

NM: I started taking CBD during my junior year of college when football season was beginning. This sport takes a lot out of you, and I wanted something natural to help me focus before a game and help me recover after one. When I found CBD, it was perfect! My family had always spoken about natural healing for years, and this is something that could help me manage pain as well as boost overall wellness naturally.

As I searched for my new purpose, I thought about all the things I was passionate about: natural healing, my family history, and helping others. Lion X Wellness is all of those things for me. It incorporates a modern evolution of my family’s philosophies and my passions for the game, performance, and holistic wellness.

BE: Sports teach us a lot. They teach us how to be strong mentally, emotionally and physically, while also instilling discipline. When things got challenging, what was one tool you took from playing football you exercised that kept you going every day?

NM: Participating in sports at such a young age taught me a lot about caring for my body. In high school, I had a coach, Coach G, who played a big part in shaping how I view discipline and how I take care of myself. Coach G would make it a point that success doesn’t rely on hard work solely. Success is giving maximum effort at all times, putting your best foot forward, being positive, and not cutting corners. I carried a lot of what Coach G taught me in my football career and applied that to my personal life and Lion X.

The Future of Lion X Wellness

BE: A year in how does it feel to have created a company that improves the well-being of so many people?

NM: Coming into this, our main goal with Lion X Wellness was to inspire people to be their best selves through natural healing and holistic wellness. Being able to continue to fulfill our mission is extremely rewarding. It only makes me want to work harder to continue to give our community more products, initiatives that they can participate in, and more ways to access Lion X Wellness.

It’s been an amazing experience inspiring people and educating people on CBD. Our success has made all the hard work we put in worth it, and I hope to continue to grow Lion X Wellness into a household name.

BE: What was the most valuable lesson you’ve learned during this process? How would you like to continue to grow? 

NM: One valuable lesson I’ve learned from starting Lion X Wellness is patience. Naturally, I am not a patient person but creating a brand, especially one where I want to help people become their best selves, shouldn’t be rushed. I’ve learned that every mistake made and every bump in the road we’ve encountered is truly a lesson and has helped us become a better company — it has helped me grow as a person.

I’ve learned to be patient with the people I work closely with, my company, and myself. Your finished product should be the best product, and you don’t gain anything from cutting corners.

BE: As a new business owner, what’s the one piece of advice you’d share with someone who is looking to create their own as well?

NM: The advice I would give a new business owner is don’t be afraid to believe in yourself and follow your dreams. It can be done, even when it feels like the world is stacked against you. Also, learn from your mistakes.

These mistakes, setbacks, and forks in the road help you grow and become a better entrepreneur. They teach you important skills like patience, timing, and how to be resourceful. You’re your own worst enemy, and once you can overcome the doubts you feel for yourself, you can truly achieve anything you put your mind to.

BE: Lastly, in 2021, what is a goal of yours that you’d like to accomplish for the company?

NM: I hope to continue to have the opportunity to educate people on CBD and the benefits it provides. In just one year, Lion X has benefited an abundance of people. I hope it continues to do so and become a household name in the CBD industry. I also hope to expand the brand one day.

Lion X Wellness isn’t just a CBD line; we’re a wellness company. I hope to introduce other wellness products in the near future, along with comfortable apparel people can wear in their homes and on the go. We’ve also had the opportunity to expand our retail market. We’ve grown massively and can now be found in stores located in Miami, D.C., L.A, and much more.

Kris Crews

Kris Crews is a writer from Columbus, Ohio. Writing was always something she had a knack for, but once she started her undergraduate experience, she found that writing was a passion of hers that she wanted to pursue more seriously. In 2017, she graduated with a B.A. in journalism and media communications. Pursuing this field allowed her to develop her skills as a writer, and with time and hard work, she sent out work that was then published by MTV, Huffington Post and Elite Daily. Currently, she is writing her first book.