Article by Javier Hasse, Forbes
Al Harrington’scannabis products are finally reaching Canada.
According to information procured exclusively ahead of an official announcement, cannabinoid-focused biopharmaceutical company Avicanna(also featured in this Forbes article) will be licensing the brand of the NBA star, Viola, and using it to create specific formulations for sale across medical and consumer retail channels in Canada. Viola will receive a royalty fee for the use of its name, but Avicanna will ultimately develop the products being sold north of the border.
For Aras Azadian, CEO of Avicanna, this partnership has a deep personal meaning. It’s the coming together of two minority-led companies, and the result of two years of collaboration.
“We are proud to be supporting Al’s vision and the Viola brand with its growth and expansion into Canada,” said Azadian said in an interview. “This is an incredible opportunity to provide not only access to a premium cannabis brand, but also a humanist philosophy that our diverse community in Canada can relate to.”
“Additionally, being headquartered in Toronto, one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world, our diverse management team sees the launch of Viola in Canada as a chance to lay the foundation for Viola’s mission of representation and reform in the Canadian cannabis space,” he added.
Cross-Border Social Equity
10-year-old Viola is not just known for its quality products sold across California, Colorado, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Washington, but also for its commitment as a brand to social equity. Through initiatives like Viola Cares, the company seeks to create entrepreneurial opportunities for communities of color in the cannabis industry, offering education, expungement and incubation programs for minorities.