How Village, A Cannabis Brand Backed By Al Harrington & Other Black Investors, Plans To Diversify The Industry
Photo Credit: Leon Bennett

How Village, A Cannabis Brand Backed By Al Harrington & Other Black Investors, Plans To Diversify The Industry

NBA star Al Harrington’s Village company is looking to diversify the cannabis industry.

The cannabis world has seen tremendous growth, despite the alarming consequences the pandemic has infiltrated into the economy. According to a recent study, the cannabis industry has witnessed a growth of 50.92 percent in 2020 alone and the numbers are projected to increase to 32.04 percent within the decade. While this may be a celebration for some as marijuana continues to become steadily legalized in more states, the reality is minorities are not reaping the benefits.

Village — founded by Al Harrington and Dan Pettigrew — is looking to change that by ensuring women and minorities will be at the forefront of the industry. MarketWatch reports, the company plans to become a multi-state operator distinct from its competitors and promote social equity in the cannabis industry.

“The concept for Village is to work through the application process as well as through mergers and partnership, to develop a platform so that minority-owned cannabis brands can exist,” Pettigrew said, according to MarketWatch. “Every state is regulated differently. Getting into these markets has proved challenging. The initial route is competitive and expensive.”

As The Company Looks Ahead

To propel the mission forward, Village has raised $6 million in funding from Black investors and their family offices, MarketWatch reports. To add to the recent funding, Village is in the process of a $30 million debt deal and an $18 million joint venture (The process is pending — therefore Village did not disclose further details).

Currently, the company houses 10 licenses across four states and houses 50 employees. The company hopes to pursue joint ventures in three other states and target licensing opportunities in Maryland and New York by 2023.

Their more recent target goal will be to reach 150 employees by 2022 and add six more states to their catalog through license applications, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions.

The Company Hopes To Partner With Industry Leaders

With Harrington already serving as a celebrity figure behind the brand, the company hopes to partner with more high-profiled individuals who will not serve as a token but will actively represent the company’s goals and initiatives. 

MarketWatch reports, Pettigrew believes a strong business plan compiled with celebrities will still be a win for the Village. So, they plan to gain the support and expertise for licensing, manufacturing, and other aspects of operations from more celebrity figures and the sports and entertainment industry.

“We want to create a platform for celebrities to bring attention to cannabis, but not have to worry about licensing and manufacturing and all the headaches we deal with,” Pettigrew said, according to MarketWatch.

The Company Doesn't Plan To Go Public Just Yet

Currently, the company reportedly has no intentions of going public, so they will push forward with their plans competitively.

“Staying private allows us control,” Pettigrew told MarketWatch. “We don’t have to worry about the concerns of shareholders. We can focus on putting one foot in front of the other and growing the business as aggressively as possible.”