This week, NBA veteran Al Harrington’s cannabis brand, Viola, announced the launch of its newest cannabis incubator program. Under the new initiative, Viola will extend critical resources and operational support such as sales, marketing and fundraising resources to select companies accepted into the program. The incubator program falls on the heels of Al Harrington’s recent comments on his mission to create 100 Black millionaires within cannabis.
Viola has officially kicked off the incubator program with its first strategic alliance with Gold Standard Farms, a Black family-owned farm with a rich history dating back to the 1940s.
The farm, with two Tennessee locations, has remained steadfast in its mission to advocate for the African American community within the space, sharing a similar heritage story and ethos with the Viola brand.
“Together we’re continuing to create space for the Black community within an industry we’ve been lacking in representation for so long.” says Jarrel Howard, Founder and CEO of Gold
The new launch is not the first time Viola has taken up an advocacy role. Earlier this year, the leading Multi-State Operator launched its social equity initiative, Viola Cares which debuted earlier this year. This week’s newest launch marks the culmination of these continued efforts, aiming to provide even more small Black-owned businesses the tools and resources needed to prosper in the cannabis industry.
“The disproportionate amount of obstacles people of color face is no secret,” said Al Harrington, Founder of Viola. “Basic access to capital and entrepreneurial knowledge are some of the most prominent barriers to entry within the cannabis space. These obstacles are felt most by minority communities and the launch of this incubator program is our response to actively combat this issue.”
Gold Standard Farms marks one of many businesses within the cannabis space expected to undergo exponential growth as a result of the incubator program. The program’s debut is held in celebration of Viola’s official expansion into the Missouri market.