The mayor of the western Pennsylvania town of Braddock is getting support from a beloved Pittsburgh fan-favorite, with the hopes of establishing a growing and processing facility there. Former Steelers star running back Franco Harris recently joined Braddock Mayor John Fetterman in an effort to get support for the facility from the borough council.
Harris is chairman of Laurel Green Medical, LLC. He and his company are trying to secure one of two state permits in the region to grow and process medical weed. Braddock borough officials who are in favor of the facility said it could possibly get Braddock out of an economic depression that has lasted nearly thirty years.
Braddock was placed on Pennsylvania’s Act 47 of financially distressed communities in June 1988. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed the Financially Distressed Municipalities Act in 1987, meaning Braddock has been in Act 47 since it came to pass.
“The demise of one industry, steel, put us in Act 47 and a new industry, medical marijuana, could pull us out of Act 47,” Mayor Fetterman said.
According to Harris, not only could medical cannabis improve the town’s economy, it could completely transform the area.
“We have a unique opportunity to transform Braddock into a center for state-of-the-art urban agriculture and, at the same time, become a first mover in the United States in researching the efficacy of marijuana in replacing opioids for the long-term management of pain,” Harris said in a press release.
These are some big promises for just one facility. But as we’ve seen happen before, sometimes all it takes is one state or one municipality to get the ball rolling in the right direction of doing business in the cannabis industry – which is almost always a boost to any economy.
Harris joins an increasing number of former and current NFL players that want to see the league allow players to use the plant-medicine for pain management.
In addition to his 4 Super Bowl rings and 9 Pro Bowl appearances, Harris was the MVP of Super Bowl IX in January of 1975. In doing so, he became both the first African-American and the first Italian-American to be named MVP of the big game.