Former NBA Star Al Harrington’s Cannabis Company Inspired by Grandmother, Now Offers Edibles
Viola Brands, the cannabis company founded in 2011 by former NBA star Al Harrington, is now offering edibles. Harrington partnered with Puff Cannabis to introduce a line of cannabis-infused gummies called Grandma’s Kitchen on Dec. 8.
Harrington was inspired to create the cannabis company by his grandmother, Viola, who suffered from glaucoma. After Harrington suggested she try cannabis to alleviate her symptoms, Viola reluctantly agreed and was moved to tears when she was able to see clearly while reading her Bible.
“Established in 2011 by NBA veteran Al Harrington, Viola was inspired by his grandmother, who had long suffered from glaucoma.”
“Al convinced her to try cannabis, from which she found relief, demonstrating to him the power of the plant. This pivotal experience inspired Al to name his company after Viola and begin his journey as CEO of Viola Brands.”
The cannabis-infused treats include four flavors; Uptown Espresso, Auntie’s Punch, Paradise Island, and Big Apple Dreamin, inspired by Viola’s apple pie. “We’re calling it Grandma’s Kitchen. We’re focused on all products or flavors that my grandmother really loved or that she made. She loved coffee in the morning. So, we have a coffee flavor and different things like that,” said Harrington.
Grandma’s Kitchen is currently available in Puff Cannabis locations in Michigan including Hamtramck, Madison Heights, and Utica. Harrington also plans to expand into Arizona, California, and Colorado. The gummies are vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO.
Harrington shared the news on Instagram.
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According to Forbes, Viola Brands raised $13 million for its expansion into Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania and is now valued at more than $100 million. The company is also expanding into Canada and Missouri. Harrington owns approximately 40 percent of the company, and several of his NBA friends also investors, including Josh Childress, Ben Gordon, J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin, and DeMarcus Cousins.
Harrington’s goal is to provide generational wealth for Black people and to right some of the wrongs caused by the drug war. The entrepreneur hopes to help create 100 Black cannabis millionaires.