Former NBA player talks about cannabis business

Former NBA player Al Harrington said one of his motivations for becoming a cannabis entrepreneur is how pot helped his grandmother.

Harrington, who played for the New York Knicks and other teams across the country, joined NY1’s Dean Meminger Sunday to discuss his plan to expand his $100 million business Viola Brands into New York and New Jersey.

About 12 years ago, his grandmother took marijuana when she was suffering from glaucoma, an eye disease that can cause vision loss.

Harrington his grandmother was able to see words in the Bible for the first time in three years.

He said that once he saw what happened with his grandmother, he wanted “to change the way people would perceive the plant.”

Harrington said his other passions within the business includes diversity, inclusion and social equity.

Viola Brands started almost 12 years ago in Colorado. Since then, the company has expanded to Oregon, Michigan, California, Missouri, Maryland and Illinois.

“We try to educate as much as we can, right, because, you know, you think about people that come from our community, specifically people of color,” he said. “We’ve seen so much trauma, you know, from the cannabis plant.”

 

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