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Al Harrington on making a strain to match AI's stature "It was a lot of pressure"


Al Harrington and Allen Iverson collaborated to produce a strain that fit the stature of "The Answer." The two came up with "96" to pay tribute to the year that Iverson was drafted. Here's how the process went down.

Making weed that’s fit for AI’s stature

Harrington's cannabis company Viola has been in the industry for ten years. However, he claims he still learns something new every day. When he tapped Allen Iverson to create a new strain dedicated for "The Answer," Harrington knew it had to be something special. 

Iverson is not only one of the greatest to ever play, but he also changed the culture, merging hip-hop and basketball cultures. He wore baggy clothes, had his hair braided, and displayed sleeve tattoos without care. AI broke the stereotype and dress code en route to winning the respect of fans and fellow players. Naturally, creating a strain in his honor should fit the impact he brought to the game. 

“He said to me 'If you make weed tastes like Dom Perignon I'll smoke it' so that's what we took and I ran with it it. I was serious about it and what we did was we were able to find the genetic you know with a company that we're working with that is a great stomp across with secret cushmits that literally when you first light it up it tastes like you're sipping champagne.”

Al Harrrington, ">"No Chill with Gilbert Arenas"

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In his No Chill Gil podcast interview, Harrington said he wanted to make it strong, although Allen hasn't consumed it in a while. Harrington shared AI stopped smoking because he "smoke some too strong s**t and landed in the ditch - the stories are hilarious." But the strain dedicated to him must be similar to what he contributed to the game - special. So far, the feedback for 96, a strain that contains 36 to 36 THC, was good overall. 

NBA players marijuana use 

Back then, NBA players who smoked weed were frowned upon. It was taboo, although everyone knew the majority of the players smoked at some point. Now, some states have decriminalized cannabis use, and people are more welcoming to its positive benefits on health. 

For Harrington, venturing into the cannabis industry also gives people of color opportunities in life, a report by Ian Servantes for Input claims. 

“We see this as a tremendous opportunity in front of us to not only figure out how we can benefit from it, but also be able to give people of color the opportunity to benefit from something that they used to literally lock our people up for.”

Al Harrington, Input Mag

Al and AI are onto something big with 96. If it proved to be as successful as Iverson's career as a gamechanger, expect more collaborations between Viola and legendary NBA players soon. 

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