Al Harrington and his Viola Brands cannabis company are launching a cannabis program for minorities
With the events that rose across the country after George Floyd’s death in the hands of the police, many celebrities and supportive figures are doing their share to end racial and social disparities in the country. In the cannabis industry, the latest effort comes from the former NBA superstar Al Harrington with his new mission of using cannabis as a source of wealth for the black community. Harrington is now CEO of his own cannabis company Viola Brands, which he will be using to run his mission of turning 100 black individuals into millionaires, he told CNBC.
According to Harrington, he will achieve his mission by using an incubator program that will allow black market cannabis products to become legitimate by leveraging on his company. “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 said. He added that the entrepreneurs in the cannabis field find it “nearly impossible to get a license” to grow and capitalize on products where marijuana is already legal. Harrington sees potential in some of these products that could have “million-dollar valuations” if promoted and distributed correctly.
With more states, like New Jersey, getting closer to cannabis legalization, Harrington wants to be an advocate for the diversity in this sector. Especially when recognizing that the black community has received harsher prison sentences for marijuana offenses than any other group of population. “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.”