Former NBA Player Masterminds $100 Million Cannabis Company

Legal marijuana is currently a $40 billion industry. It’s growing rapidly as more and more states across the country opt for cannabis legalization. It’s now legal medically in 33 states and recreationally in 10. Former Indiana Pacers 1st round draft pick Al Harrington is quickly becoming a major player in the industry with his cannabis company Viola.

Repesentaion Matters

Black and brown people have historically been prosecuted harsher and at a disproportional rate for marijuana use than other demographics. That’s why it’s important that minorities are able to stake a claim in the industry now that it’s “mainstream.”

Harrington initially invested $5 million in a cannabis company in 2011 while still a member of the Denver Nuggets. It was legal recreationlly in the state of Colorado, but he reportedly put it in his cousin’s name as to not run afoul of the NBA. The investment paid off handsomely. The company is now valued at $100 million, according to The Indianapolis Star


The company now has over 70 employees spanning across California, Oregon, Colorado and Michigan. The 39 year old Harrington says his goal is to reach a $1 Billion valuation for the company. 

Viola is named after Harrington’s grandmother. She visited him in Denver shortly after he started the company. She was in frequent pain, and was taking a multitude of medications for diabetes and glaucoma at the time. The CBD oil he gave her worked better than any of her prescribed medication, which gave him confirmation that he was going in the right direction.  

Harrington took a leap of faith into the cannabis industry before it was the trendy thing to do. He’s proof that stepping outside of your comfort zone leads to the biggest rewards. It’s the only way real progress can be made.         

  1. Debra Thomas
    Debra Thomas
    June 14, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    I deal with lots of pain but my job is not on board with cannabis in no way form or fashion. I wish people would experience the chronic pain I have for at least for a week.

  2. John Williams
    John Williams
    June 14, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Will he be taking the company public? I looked for the ticker but didn’t find it

  3. arneda williams
    arneda williams
    June 14, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    what is the market ticket symbol for the company viola so I can invest

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    June 16, 2019 at 11:10 am

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  5. Greg Kaspar
    Greg Kaspar
    June 17, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Just an fyi, recreational cannabis was not legal in Colorado until 1/1/2014. Voters approved it in the 2012 November election. If Mr. Harrington’s investment was made in 2011 to a CO based (or any state for that matter), it was strictly medical cannabis at the time. Congrats to Al however, he’s not only doing a good thing for minority-run businesses, but for society at large by investing in the one substance that not only has never had an overdose death attributed to it, but is also bringing healing and relief to many people who use the products his company produces!

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