Viola, a premium, Black-owned cannabis brand founded by former NBA player and Essex County native Al Harrington, is making its New Jersey debut.
According to Rise Dispensary, the line will be available soon at its recreational dispensaries in Paterson (196 3rd Ave. #3C) and Bloomfield (26-48 Bloomfield Ave.).
Rise, which is a subsidiary of Green Thumbs Industry, will offer 1/8-ounce mixed bud in various strains, including For Good Times, For Kick Back and For Lights Out.
To celebrate the launch, Rise plans to host parties March 24 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at its Paterson store and March 25 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at its Bloomfield location. Both events will feature a visit from Harrington, a DJ, giveaways and limited-edition merchandise drops.
Harrington, who grew up in Orange and spent 16 seasons in the NBA with clubs including the New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers, became an advocate for cannabis after seeing how his grandmother was able to better manage her battle with diabetes and glaucoma by using cannabis medicines.
Following his retirement, Harrington went on to co-found Viola, a brand aimed at improving the representation of communities of color in the cannabis market by educating and empowering them. Launched in 2011, Viola’s strains and products are available across five states and throughout Canada.