In the ever-evolving landscape of the cannabis industry, one brand stands out not only for its premium products but also for its unwavering commitment to social relevance and empowerment. Viola Cannabis, founded in 2011 by the 16-year NBA veteran Al Harrington, has emerged as a beacon of change, representing the intersection of cannabis advocacy and athleticism.

NBA Star Al Harrington Founded Viola Cannabis

The Viola story is not just about cannabis; it’s about honoring heritage and leveraging personal experiences to drive positive change. Named in tribute to Al Harrington’s grandmother, who found relief from glaucoma through cannabis, Viola is more than a brand; it’s a testament to the transformative power of cannabis in alleviating pain and improving lives.

Al Harrington

Al Harrington’s journey from the basketball court to the cannabis industry epitomizes the entrepreneurial spirit. During his NBA career, Harrington strategically invested in startups across the cannabis sector, recognizing its potential for growth and impact. In 2011, he took the leap and launched his own brand Viola in Colorado, personally overseeing every aspect of cultivation, extraction, and production to ensure premium quality.

Al Harrington and Viola

How Viola Cannabis supports Social Advocacy Initiatives 

But Viola is not just about business; it’s about advocacy and empowerment. At its core is a mission to educate, empower, and uplift the Black community, addressing the historical injustices and disparities within the cannabis industry. Harrington, as CEO and Co-Founder, utilizes his platform to advocate for equity and inclusivity, serving as a respected authority and advisor in shaping cannabis legislation at local and national levels in the U.S.

Viola’s expansion beyond Colorado underscores its commitment to accessibility and inclusivity. With presence in ten states and nationally across Canada through a partnership with Avicanna, Viola has become the only Black-owned multinational cannabis brand, breaking barriers and setting new standards for diversity and representation in the industry.

What sets Viola apart is not just its premium products but also its authenticity and commitment to social relevance. By leveraging Harrington’s personal journey and advocating for equity, Viola has become more than just a cannabis brand; it’s a symbol of empowerment and change. In late 2020, the brand even enlisted renowned actor, producer, and Grammy Award-winning rapper T.I. as a social justice ambassador, to lead initiatives to make the cannabis industry more equitable and inclusive.

Viola Cannabis Team

Viola’s Epic Cannabis Events

Viola is known for its exclusive cannabis events that help grow brand loyalty and support cannabis advocacy and social justice initiatives. Al Harrington frequently attends Viola events himself, which creates a one-of-a-kind opportunity for fans to interact with him.

Viola Cannabis Event

In America, one example is when Viola hosted a luxury suite and smoke lounge during NBA All-Star Weekend. This event brought cannabis into the mainstream conversation surrounding the NBA and helped raise awareness of the brand among influential entrepreneurs, entertainers and athletes.

In Canada, Viola recently hosted a night for budtenders, buyers and media that allowed fans of Viola to meet Al Harrington, network and smoke in a unique venue. The event took place in a hotpot restaurant and allowed patrons to test out new Viola offerings while enjoying delicious food among great company.

Viola Cannabis Product Line-Up

Viola offers a wide variety of product types and strains across the US and Canada. In America, the brand’s flower offerings fall into 4 categories that outline the expected effects associated with each offering – Get Up & Go (Sativa), Good Times (Sativa Hybrid), Kick Back (Indica Hybrid) and Lights Out (Indica). In Canada, the brand’s most popular strain is Al ‘96, the first strain introduced under Allen Iverson’s “Iverson” sub-brand launched by Viola. Al ‘96 is a creative reference to the same year (1996) that Allen Iverson was drafted to the league. Viola’s line-up extends far past dried flower, offering disposable vape pens, infused pre-rolls, “The Drop” THC extract, dabbable concentratres and more.

Becoming a Multinational Brand: Avicanna x Viola Cannabis

In 2021, Avicanna Inc. forged a strategic partnership with Viola Brands. Viola, seeking to expand its reach into Canada, partnered with Avicanna for the commercialization of Viola branded products in Canada, utilizing its robust infrastructure for manufacturing, distribution, and sales. This collaboration enabled Viola to introduce its premium products, including specific formulations developed by Avicanna, to the Canadian cannabis market. Al Harrington, Viola’s CEO, expressed excitement about extending Viola’s mission with Avicanna’s support, emphasizing their shared commitment to research and development in the medical and pharmaceutical cannabis sectors. With Viola’s dedication to representation and reform in the cannabis industry and Avicanna’s expertise in cannabinoid-based products, the partnership symbolized a step towards fostering a more inclusive and socially responsible cannabis landscape in Canada. Avicanna is also responsible for commercializing medical cannabis brands such as RHO Phyto and Trunerox™ in Canada.

Continuing To Elevate the Culture

As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, Viola stands as a shining example of what’s possible when entrepreneurship meets advocacy. With a dedication to quality, community, and social impact, Viola is not just shaping the future of cannabis; it’s leading the charge towards a more equitable and inclusive industry.

Viola Cannabis represents more than just a brand; it’s a movement towards social change and empowerment. Through its premium products and advocacy efforts, Viola is setting a new standard for what it means to be a socially relevant cannabis brand in the 21st century.

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by ADCANN



ADCANN is a digital publication and content creation team that showcases the most creative concepts in the cannabis space.