Former NBA forward turned cannabis entrepreneur, Al Harrington has a long-standing history in the cannabis industry.
Several years ago, Harrington founded Viola Brands, a premium cannabis company that specializes in flower strains, concentrates, and accessories. Since its inception, Viola’s mission has evolved into a cultural movement that seeks to empower entrepreneurs of color in the cannabis industry.
According to CNBC, Harrington’s newest goal is to develop 100 Black millionaire cannabis entrepreneurs via a new incubator tailored to turn illegal cannabis products legit with the help of Viola Brands.
“A lot of brands that are on the black market that has a lot of credibility and unbelievable following, have market share, but they just don’t know how to get into the legal market,” Harrington told CNBC.
Since the legalization of certain cannabis products, there has been controversy around the sought after license-to-sell. People of color across the nation have been locked out of obtaining the appropriate and legal license necessary to set up shop.
“That is something I will continue to harp on; continue to bring awareness to because once again, I feel like the war on drugs was aimed towards our community, and they used cannabis as pretty much the main drug to continue to lock us up,” Harrington said. “All this money being made now, we’re not represented; we’re not there. I feel like we pioneered this industry.”
Last October, Viola Brands closed its $16 million series A funding round and added a host of new investors, including former NBA player Stephen Jackson, CNBC reports.