Former NBA Player and Cannabis Industry Executive Al Harrington, Joins Forces with Former NBA Star Larry Hughes to Start New Cannabis Business in St. Louis


ST. LOUISNov. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Hometown hero and former NBA player Larry Hughes will be opening two cannabis dispensaries and a cultivation and processing center in St. Louis early next year. The new venture, Viola Missouri (VMO), is in partnership with former NBA teammate and veteran cannabis industry executive, Al Harrington and his cannabis company, Village Brands. This new alliance, will benefit from the extensive management experience of best-in-class cannabis operators and the guidance of community leaders like Hughes and business manager, Abe Givins.

VMO shares the name of Harrington’s first cannabis company, Viola Extracts that was founded in Colorado in 2011. The brand is named after Harrington’s grandmother who used cannabis to treat her glaucoma and diabetes. Over the years, Viola Extracts has become one of the nation’s leading producers and licensed wholesalers of premium quality cannabis products. Viola currently operates in ColoradoOregonMichiganCalifornia, and Washington.

Earlier this year, VMO was awarded four licenses which made them one of 11 fully integrated cannabis operators in the state. VMO also stands as the only Black-owned and operated cannabis company in Missouri. The company plans to generate approximately 75 jobs. Hughes, Harrington, and Givins believe the company’s presence in St. Louis is essential to bringing economic development to economically distressed areas of the city and crucial to bringing diversity to the cannabis industry.

“As our state embraces this new industry, working with community is incredibly important. Over the last year, starting before construction even began, Viola has been laying the groundwork for supporting the surrounding neighborhood  and building the foundation of a long-standing community partnership.” – Alderwoman Cara Spencer

VMO has identified two central locations for its dispensaries. The flagship dispensary will sit across the street from the forthcoming Major League Soccer stadium at 2001 Olive Street. A second dispensary will be located at 3420 Iowa Street. The dispensaries are slated to begin serving patients in April of 2021.

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