For the pro athlete turned entrepreneur, longtime cannabis advocate, and co-founder of Umbo, a brand of functional mushroom supplements, his appearance at the Remembrance health and wellness festival is the latest step in his advocacy for natural health remedies.
"I will be roaming around spreading the word about the healing powers of fungi," Plummer told Phoenix New Times ahead of the February 11 event.
To be clear, Plummer and Umbo — which he launched with business partners Del Jolly, a cannabis advocate and nonprofit executive, and Rashad Evans, a UFC heavyweight champion — create products from functional mushrooms that can be sold online and not the psychedelic ones, the use of which has been decriminalized only in Colorado, where Plummer lives, and Oregon.
"Functional mushrooms are adaptogenic and can benefit our bodies," Plummer said. "We sell direct to consumers as our mushrooms are not psychedelic and therefore are not illegal, federally."
Umbo supplements can benefit the brain, gut, and lungs, according to the company. Its products range from a $5.99 mushroom bar to bottles of tincture — an herbal extract — for $24.95, and jars of supplements for $59.99. Plummer said a dose of reishi mushrooms "is like a warm blanket for your central nervous system."
To supply the Umbo line, Plummer said he scanned what he called the "queendom of fungi" early and co-founded MyCOLove Farm in Fort Lupton, Colorado, in 2021. The farm bills itself as a full-scale medicinal and culinary mushroom farm.
Plummer not only harvests mushrooms, but he's a mushroom consumer as well. "The tinctures helped boost my immune system and had many positive effects on my mental function and reduction of inflammation in my body," he said. "In addition, reishi helped put an end to my seasonal allergies, while lion's mane has helped me gain more mental clarity while enhancing my dream state."
‘I Was a Grumpy Mudge’
Plummer also visited Phoenix in October to pitch his products and talk cannabis with former Cardinals teammate Jamir Miller. The two appeared at the monthly meeting of the Arizona chapter of the Marijuana Industry Trade Association.
Miller recently launched Seaside Fine Flower, a cannabis brand sold in Sol Flower dispensaries in the Valley. "We're fortunate enough to build a nice little business here in Arizona," Miller told MITA CEO Demitri Downing. "And all of our brands are focused centrally on giving the customer a better product. It's all about the healing factor of the flower."
Like other retired professional athletes with ties to Arizona, Miller has embraced cannabis and helped advocate for its public acceptance.
"Jamir is a fantastic example of why prohibition has ended because individuals like Jamir used cannabis responsibly for therapeutic reasons," Downing told New Times. "He's a Cardinal, an Arizona guy. I hope his brand thrives. And MITA, because we are an Arizona-based organization now, we want that to be the big brand coming out of Arizona."
Plummer played for the Cardinals from 1997 to 2002 and the Denver Broncos from 2003 to 2006 before retiring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2007. Pro football took a physical toll, he said.
"I was having intense headaches behind my eyeballs nearly every day," Plummer told New Times. "Mix that with body and joint stiffness, and before long, I was a grumpy mudge. I found myself curling into a tense little ball with limited mobility and pain when it got cold during the winter months."
Plummer said he healed himself with weed and CBD.
"I did smoke weed a couple of times in college and after games toward the end of my career in Denver," he continued. "I used it to relax after games and let the stress of the game go away for the night, so I could drop in and be with my family and friends who came to watch me play. If I could go back, I would have smoked after every game during my career instead of drinking alcohol."
Now, Plummer's weed consumption focuses on the flower. "I like to use the flower as I believe everything is better in its most natural state, so I go with crumbling the herb and smoking it in a pipe or in a spliff," he said.