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Former NBA Player Turned Entrepreneur Al Harrington Wants to Create 100 Black Cannabis Millionaires Through His Incubator

Al Harrington is a man on a mission to create 100 millionaires in the legal cannabis industry.

The owner of Viola has led the meager 2 percent of ownership by people of color in the legal cannabis space, and he is doing his part to level the playing field. Black people are still disproportionately arrested and jailed for cannabis-related crimes.

Former NBA player and entrepreneur Al Harrington (C) poses with men at the Black Lives Matter Bicycle Rally wearing signs reading (L-R) I am Breonna Taylor, I am Vanessa Guillen, I am George Floyd and I am Rayshard Brooks. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)

“That is an issue,” Harrington said to Forbes. “How can [the policing of] this drug have done so much harm in our communities,” he asks, “and now is a multibillion-dollar industry and not only are we not in position to participate, but we’re still locked up because of it?”

The Changemakers

Harrington has assembled an investment group that includes current and former NBA players like J.R. Smith, DeMarcus Cousins, Ben Gordon, Josh Childress and Kenyon Martin. He also partnered with NBA legend Allen Iverson and launched a strain for him under Viola.

In 2011, Harrington launched a business that produces cannabis extracts. The company Viola Extracts has become one of the nation’s leading producers and licensed wholesalers of premium quality cannabis products.

Viola began operations in Denver, Colorado, in 2012, and now operates in Colorado, Oregon, Michigan and California, and has grown to become a respected, top-selling national brand in the cannabis industry.

The Incubator

“Over the last five years, Viola has been dedicated to creating and producing quality herbal experiences for our customers,” said Harrington via a statement in 2020.

Read more on The Shadow League here.

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