Al Harrington is the CEO and founder of the premium cannabis company, Viola Inc., inspired and named in honor of his grandmother, Viola Harrington. After seeing how cannabis helped Viola, who suffers from glaucoma and diabetes, and dealing with his own health issues as a result of botched knee surgeries, Al worked with a team of industry leaders to create his vision of a cannabis brand with a purpose. Viola now operates in California, Colorado, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Washington.
At the age of 18, Al was selected in the NBA draft and played 16 seasons in the league for teams such as the Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, and others.
Al’s entrepreneurial endeavors began during his NBA career when he strategically invested in startups across the cannabis industry. Then, in 2011 he brought Viola to market after overseeing the carefully curated cultivation, extraction, and production processes. With the mission to provide equitable opportunities and ownership for the Black community at the heart of the brand, Al uses his platform to advocate for the advancement and betterment of Black men and women everywhere.
In this episode of Break Things, we connect with Al about how cannabis was unnecessarily demonized during the war on drugs to disproportionately incarcirate folks from the black community. His mission is to uplift the black community as the co-founder of the first black-owned multinational cannabis company.