Former NBA players Al Harrington and Larry Hughes are teaming up again—this time to expand Harrington’s cannabis business.
Harrington announced that fellow former NBA player Hughes will expand the Viola brand when he opens two cannabis dispensaries and a cultivation and processing center in St. Louis early next year. The new venture will be called Viola Missouri (VMO), and it is in partnership with Harrington and his cannabis company, Village Brands.
“I am honored to bring VMO to life in St. Louis. Over the course of my career in the NBA, and since my retirement, I have focused my energy and resources on being a positive influence in this community. I have championed efforts to break the stigma around mental health and spent a great deal of time helping to develop this city’s young leaders. VMO will serve the medical needs of our community, particularly those suffering with physically and mentally debilitating conditions, including PTSD. I see this next journey as a continuation of the work that we have already done and believe VMO will soon be a model business in our community,” Hughes said in a written statement.
Missouri has developed a well-regulated and patient-oriented medical program that is currently serving almost 100,000 patients across the state.
“As the largest Black-led and owned multi-state cannabis operator in the United States, Viola has experienced great success leading with purpose every step of the way. I have experienced firsthand the benefits of cannabis on improving the lives of many suffering from a multitude of ailments beginning with my grandmother, Viola. VMO is an exciting new opportunity that will allow us to serve a community that just recently was granted access to medical cannabis and one of which is still actively working to combat the stigma associated with cannabis use,” Harrington said.
VMO will have two central locations for its dispensaries. The flagship dispensary will be located directly across the street from the forthcoming Major League Soccer stadium at 2001 Olive Street. A second dispensary will be located at 3420 Iowa Street. The dispensaries should be up and running for patients in April of 2021.