Charles Wu
Aug 6, 2018 · 12 min read

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kyle Turley, former All-Pro NFL player and successful “power country” musician. Kyle is CEO and Founder of Neuro XPF, a hemp-based CBD product line that is THC-Free and was created to help athletes remain focused, reduce inflammation, aches and pains, and stay in the game. Kyle is also a board member and active supporter of the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund, an organization providing medical care and other forms of assistance to retired NFL players in dire need.

Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, what’s your background?

I was born in Provo, Utah and raised a Mormon. We moved to Southern California when I was 10, and it was there that I started skateboarding, surfing and playing music. I also played baseball and wrestled and decided to play football my Senior year of High School. I received a scholarship to play football in college at San Diego State where I majored in Art and played Offensive Line under Coach Ed White. Following college, I became a professional football player in the NFL for eight years, selected seventh overall in the 1998 draft. I played five seasons for the New Orleans Saints and a year with the St. Louis Rams, where I suffered a back injury that took me out of play for the next two seasons. In 2006 I was picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs where I played for two years before retiring in December 2007. Following my NFL career, I moved to Nashville where I launched my music career and began touring with my band alongside Hank Williams III. We also opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Church, Joe Nichols, Kansas and others.

During my NFL career I became reliant on pain killers and endured a 20-year struggle with depression, anxiety and rage. I was diagnosed with CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) due to the 100-plus concussions I endured during my time in the NFL. I began a downward spiral of pharmaceutical addiction, violent thoughts and suicidal tendencies. Medical Marijuana literally saved my life. Without it I would not be here today. I would not have my family, my kids, my house, everything I have right now, if not for cannabis. Period.

How did you get involved with the cannabis industry?

Cannabis saved my life. It also got me out of my addiction to opiates. My life did a complete 180 after I finally gave in and took the advice of fellow former NFL athletes and turned to medical marijuana. I had such great personal success, that I started telling people about that experience and realized that I could interject myself into this conversation in many ways. I took the conversation and began to move it forward by sharing information on the right products that I found worked unbelievably well — both the flower and CBD side. Having this epiphany prompted me to work hard to change the conversation. I didn’t just play football. I was an art major from San Diego State. I put all of that knowledge to work when I realized that the cannabis industry needed help on the marketing and branding side. I kept talking about my experience, but realized that words often fall on deaf ears. I thought that the best way I could contribute would be to create a product that was of the highest quality that could help others to feel the way that I feel. I set out to turn the naysayers into believers.

What exactly do you do in the industry?

Everything that I can. I just finalized a submission for my first dispensary in my hometown. This is where it all started — my CTE when I decided to pursue my dream of football. I just keep moving forward, sharing my message and building out my business, trying to reach as many people as I can. I am continuing to grow my product lines on both the CBD and flower side, exploring all aspects of the plant and the countless ways it can help to alleviate illness and disease. The bottom line for me is to sell a product that I can stand behind, one that I can give to my own family and friends, as well as anyone who is suffering and in need of this miracle plant. I have not made a dime from any of my cannabis ventures, but hopefully I am getting the word out and helping as many people as possible along the way.

So many of our readers and viewers are living in states where medical cannabis is not accessible to them and because of that they are really passionate about seeing cannabis legalized or at least made available for medical access…what was it like for you in the beginning?

It is still unbelievably horrible. The process that people have to go through, even in California, is archaic and demeaning. This is not a state’s issue or a city issue, this is a HEALTHCARE issue. At the end of the day, nothing good will come until they make cannabis federally legal. Politicians are allowed to sit and pass judgement and make laws that affect people and their lives, while they have no medical experience or training. This is a tragedy. There is no clear path for those who need cannabis to live. In the beginning it was just as bad and it isn’t getting any better.

A patient must be intimately familiar with the strains and what specifically works for them — this takes time. I went on an unbelievable hunt (as documented on VICE — “Chasing Strains”), and had to learn what they smell like, look like, etc. so I can make sure that I can always find my medicine. It really is hit or miss and there is not enough product to go around. There are not enough legalized shops to distribute the product and advertising and signage is being suppressed. This is an unbelievably unjust war and we need to continue to fight it.

What keeps you in the industry when so many others were dropping out?

I’m not in it for the money, I’m in it forever to help everyone find the medicine that they have a right to. I’ve already scaled major obstacles. I had initially named my company Neuro Armour, and was subsequently sued by Under Armour. It was a battle that most likely could have been won, but would have taken my focus off of my mission, and I wasn’t willing to do that. So, I changed the name to Neuro XPF. I will keep working and moving this conversation forward — forever. This industry is unbelievably frustrating and many opinions are borne out of ignorance. Too few are paying attention to science and instead fall back on stigma. NATURE ALWAYS WINS — there is only one God and he created a plant and I intend to use it and to tell anyone who wants to know about it how it saved me and it can save you too.

What is your mission in your work? Why do you do what you do? Your higher purpose?

At the end of the day I prayed and God saved my life. I am fighting for God because he sent me this plan and I will fulfil this. Ironically, I grew up Mormon. I never did drugs. I never drank alcohol. I did not take any cannabis until I came to a place of unbelievable loss with my brain disease. I was experiencing vertigo, seizures and horrible mental and physical illness. I was introduced to cannabis by a Hall of Fame NFL player and it saved my life. I was suicidal and homicidal and at my lowest point. Without cannabis I would not be here. Period. I have gone and met anyone and everyone in this space, including Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, Dr. Bonni Goldstein and Dr. Sue Sisley. I have done my research and can truthfully say that this is not about me. I am just complicit in that I have been called to serve a higher power. I submitted and asked for help. I asked and I was saved and I will not deny others the same opportunity. This is my mission.

What do you see the benefits of legalization being for the US or global economy?

This is so much greater than the global economy. Any problem or issue that we have, locally or globally, can be solved by way of the cannabis plant. Jack Herer said it best when he wrote The Emperor Wears No Clothes

“If all fossil fuels and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the Greenhouse Effect and stop deforestation; then there is only one known annually renewable natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world’s paper and textiles; meet all of the world’s transportation, industrial and home energy needs, while simultaneously reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil, and cleaning the atmosphere all at the same time… and that substance is — the same one that did it all before — Cannabis Hemp… Marijuana!”

Cannabis is the most important discovery for human health care in the world and if this plan is acknowledged there is no end to where we can take this — medicine, fuels, materials — cannabis and hemp both have the ability to resolve EVERY modern-day issue we are facing. No other cause has had the ability to unite people around the world the way cannabis does. Our healthcare issues can be resolved. Our environmental situation with pollution and global warming can be resolved. Hunger, poverty, fuel shortages, disease — all of this can be minimized or completely resolved through cannabis and hemp. There is NO COMPETITION for this plant and there is NO OTHER material on the face of the earth that can solve these issues. Cannabis and hemp have the ability to resolve our prison issue, racial divide — cannabis can liberate everything that has ever been repressed. At the end of the day, marijuana wins. Hands down.

Alzheimer’s Disease is expected to bankrupt Medicare. Alzheimer’s is a top ten killer of American’s and is the most expensive disease in the U.S. Over the next three and a half decades, 28 million are expected to develop it. That will cost $20 TRILLION and eat up a quarter of the Medicare budget. This large number of predicted cases could certainly bankrupt Medicare. At the same time, the U.S. government owns Patent №6,630,507, which covers the potential use of non-psychoactive cannabinoids, (chemical compounds found within the plant species cannabis sativa), to protect the brain from damage or degeneration caused by certain diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, CTE and Cirrhosis. This patent was granted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2003. Why? Why does the government hold a patent on the marijuana plant while at the same time listing it as a Schedule 1 substance, meaning that it is classified as having no medicinal benefits whatsoever?

As soon as cannabis is descheduled, studies that have been underway for years will be released to show that cannabis WILL stop the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. Marijuana is THE ONLY neuroprotectant.

You are considered to be one of the leaders in our field, can you share three tips that helped you get here?

1 — My circumstance brought me here — playing in the NFL and developing CTE / Alzheimer’s.

None of this makes sense. Nothing that I did in life would have ever indicated that I would end up here. In all of my cognitive decline there is one sure thing — this is my life. I’m here for this. My family was saved, my life was saved and football will be saved because of this plant. I walk tall and strong. This is why I’m here.

2 — Get on the trail, pave your way and follow your mind and heart. I am on a mission from God and I am following my truth. At the end of the day, we are going to get to the show.

3 — Stay true to your personal mission. We have all come to this place for a reason. If your reason is to make money, this is probably not the right place for you. Whatever brought you to the cannabis space, stay true, keep fighting and don’t give up until this plant is liberated.

What do you do to stay relevant in the industry when there are so many newbies jumping in?

I don’t care about being relevant. There is no relevancy that is going to trump distribution lines. At the end of the day if you have a product and you are trying to sell it, you will fail if your bottom line is a search for relevancy. Stay relevant through providing a real product that actually works.

Tell us about your Product or service…what is unique about it? Do you have any testimonial stories to share?

Quality. There is an unbelievable corruptness in this industry. Neuro XPR is pure, unbelievably derived source. Our product is as good as it can possibly get. I am making sure that I am sourcing the absolute best while innovating on all levels. I have surrounded myself with the best people all with the same drive and intention. We are an American made product and I will stand behind that and we are doing it right — unbelievable opportunity for patients to experience true CBD. Full extraction of THC so there is ZERO risk of testing positive; main charge is creating product to give people of any age access to this incredible plant; not just lying on my laurels as a former All-Pro NFL player; I stand behind my product and I believe this country can be saved through cannabis and hemp.

We have endless testimonials, but unfortunately we are unable to share due to government restrictions.

Does your product work for everyone or is there someone specific that is created for?

Our product is for everyone. CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory with little to no side effects. Anybody who is experiencing any type of inflammation, anxiety, pain, insomnia, or looking for better focus. From infants to elderly to animals, CBD has shown to be unbelievably efficient. My top charge is to expose CBD and its neuroprotective attributes.

Being that my background is in athletics, I can attest that Neuro XPF has combined the power of supplements often used for pre, during and post workout, with the power of Cannabinoids, and that the product is on the cusp of changing the landscape of sports therapy. If I can provide a product that would help even one athlete to protect their brain so that they would not have to endure what I have, then mission accomplished.

Can you share your 5 Top Tips to Start a Successful Cannabis Business. Please give an example for each.

1. Quality DOES matter. If you’re coming into this industry just thinking that you can present any product, without quality or consistency, your days are numbered.

2. Understand your expectations. Ambition is a wonderful thing, but you can save yourself a lot of grief by realizing that the more you push, the more you get pulled back. Everyone believes they have a million dollar business waiting to rule the industry, but the truth is that the tortoise always beats the hare because he sees all of the obstacles ahead, clearly, and takes the time to make the right decisions on where to go.

3. The players come and go… make sure that you always front the band. This is crucial advice I was given by the great Hank Williams III when I embarked on a music career. Who you start your business with isn’t always who you end up doing business with. Just because someone says they’ve been in this industry for years doesn’t mean they’re good at real world business and the personalities in this industry tend to be “deep thinkers”.

4. Be convicted. Make sure that the arena you are trying to play in is driven by your convictions from your personal experiences to how you benefit from your product. From seed to sale, you need to understand what it is you are trying to sell so no one can tell you your business.

5. Be humble. Appreciate and recognize the fact that you don’t know everything. There will always be someone out there who we can learn something new from. Knowing your business is paramount to your success, but don’t be afraid to pull experience in from outside your circle. Having the ability to discern the right information in this industry will keep you on top.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

Open your mind and at least bring yourself to neutral on cannabis. Everyone out there either suffers from various afflictions themselves or they know and love someone who could benefit from this natural curative plant.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Everyone is crying out for peace, but none for justice.” (Peter Tosh) Everyone wants to put this conversation to bed. Nobody really cares to see anybody else’s life — not their choice of medicine, not their color, religion, sexual orientation. We need to open our eyes and really see and understand each other. “Love the life you live.” (Bob Marley)

Where can they find you? (do you have a fan page or social media channels you want them to follow?)

Twitter: @KyleTurley and @NeuroXPF
Facebook: @NeuroXPF
Instagram: @kyle_turley

Watch the full interview below:

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Charles Wu

Written by

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade