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Career after Basketball - Al Harrington's Canabis Business


Former NBA star, Al Harrington is slam-dunking a cannabis entrepreneur. In 1998, Harrington was the 25th overall pick in the NBA draft selected by the Indiana Pacers straight out of high-school. He spent 16 years in the league playing for 7 NBA teams, including the Atlanta Hawks and Denver Nuggets. He ended his NBA career with the Washington Wizards in 2014, but nowadays he is investing his time in a different kind of business. The marijuana business.

During "The Concept of Cannabis," Al Harrington opens up about how he really began using CBD, a cannabis extract that is used to treat inflammation while playing for the Denver Nuggets.

"How I started using cannabis, is when I played for the Denver Nuggets I had a botched knee surgery that I ended up getting a staph injection. Ended up having to get four more surgeries just to clean the infection out. You know, I was on all kinds of pain meds. This lady that runs this university, she has seen all of the medicine that I had on the thing and she said ‘Al, have you ever tried CBD?’ And I was just like, ‘Nah I never really tried’ and she gave me a couple of things to try and I immediately felt the difference.”

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And after he retired in 2014, Harrington has gone into cannabis full-time, leading to the development of marijuana businesses in three states and a dream of being a major mogul in the still-burgeoning racket of legalized medical marijuana. His company is called Viola Extracts -- Viola is Harrington’s grandmother. When Viola Harrington’s glaucoma was eased by using medical marijuana a couple of years ago, Al Harrington became a true believer. Now Viola Extracts is a one-stop grower, distributing and selling to more than 30 legal marijuana stores around the country.

Uninterpreted, released a documentary highlighting Harrington’s cannabis company. In the ‘Concept of Cannabis’, Harrington has a sit-down conversation with former NBA commissioner, David Stern, to discuss the use of marijuana in the NBA by players and coaches. Al not only predicts that the majority of NBA players use marijuana, but that over 70% of all professional athletes partake in Mary Jane. Surprisingly, Mr. Stern agreed in saying he too, feels the NBA should allow players to use marijuana and proposed that the Collective Bargaining Agreement follow state laws. “I think you should be allowed to do what’s legal in your state,” says Stern. It’s clear that Harrington and Stern are on the same page, the question is will the NBA join them?

The NBA has been a fairly progressive league relative to league’s like the NFL or MLB so it seems inevitable that changes are coming to how the league handles marijuana use. With legalization becoming more and more prevalent around the country, and with what we know about prescription pain medications leading to addiction and abuse, the league might finally be ready to explore allowing marijuana use.

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