Viola, the Los Angeles-based, Black-owned multinational cannabis operator rooted in building equity within the industry, has partnered with NBA legend Allen Iverson. The multiyear partnership between Viola and Iverson will span cannabis, product and merchandise to create an industry-leading and scalable collaboration across product lines and markets, said the company led by co-founder and CEO Al Harrington.
Following a comprehensive tour of Viola’s 18,000-square-foot Detroit facility, which included seeing the full-scale operation in action as well as learning more about the company’s commitment to increasing minority participation and ownership in the cannabis industry (currently at only 4%), Iverson was inspired to move forward with the partnership.
“I’ve had a lot of people approach me with business opportunities, but this one with Al was different,” said Iverson. “After seeing how devoted he is to this business, and him educating me on how beneficial the plant is, it just felt right. I’m excited to be a part of it. Together, we’re about to change the game.”
The partnership will feature a variety of cannabis and non-cannabis products, including The Iverson Collection, a series of strains that will launch across the markets in which Viola operates.
“In the same way Allen impacted the culture, we’re going to continue to impact the cannabis industry,” said Harrington. “We’re going to keep pushing boundaries. I’m honored to have Allen on board. We want to continue to inspire others and encourage people of color to participate in the cannabis space.”
In addition to the Viola partnership, Iverson is also partnering with Harrington on his wellness CBD brand rePlay, with future announcements forthcoming under the Harrington Wellness umbrella, the company said.
Founded in 2011 by Harrington, who was inspired to launch the brand by his grandmother, Viola, who suffers from glaucoma and diabetes and found solace in cannabis remedies, Viola is committed to empowering minority ownership by creating a coalition of minority investors who own and operate the cannabis operation.
Viola is known for its wide variety of product offerings, from high-quality flower to premier butane extracts, the company said. From regulation to representation and reform, Viola’s mission is to create opportunities for communities of color in the cannabis industry.