There’s a lot of reasons to love Viola. Besides attracting consumers with their high-profile founder, the heart-warming story of the company’s origins or their extensive equity work with Viola Cares—these guys just make great products. Now in their 10th year of operation, today Viola is easily one of the most talked about brands in the cannabis industry, and one of the most popular in terms of sales too. With operations in six states and a licensing deal that will bring the brand into Canada, Viola has long been a shining example of cultural relevance driving sales in this burgeoning space.
Founded by former NBA first-round pick Al Harrington, who was drafted at 18 (as the 25th pick overall in the 1998 draft), Harrington isn’t your typical cannabis executive—even though he did play for most of the teams with names stoners would choose, like the Nuggets, the Magic and the Wizards. After suffering numerous injuries while playing professionally and having been prescribed countless pharmaceuticals to quell his pain, it wasn’t until after his career was over that he began to fully comprehend all the healing properties cannabis offered. The NBA didn’t look too kindly on the plant back then, after all. But after medicating himself, it was actually his grandmother’s relief that motivated him to build the company. She had been suffering from glaucoma for years, and cannabis was the first medication that brought her lasting comfort. He immediately realized the potential.
While the goal is of course to grow the business and provide as much access to the plant as possible, it’s important to note that this isn’t just some celebrity cash grab. On top of making quality products, Viola’s mission is to “increase minority participation and ownership in the cannabis …
Author: Jon Cappetta / High Times