NJ Cannabis Media -
November 5, 2018

Harrington pushes social equity, need for inclusiveness

Written by Marc Schwarz
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Photo Credit: MARC SCHWARZ

It shouldn’t be surprising that Al Harrington, co-founder of Viola Brands, used a basketball metaphor to talk about the need for diversity in the cannabis industry.

After all, the New Jersey native is a former first-round NBA draft pick and played 16 seasons, before launching an extract brand.

“It’s like playing the Golden State Warriors and giving them a 30-point lead heading into the fourth quarter,” Harrington told the more than 200 people at CannaGather NJ in Trenton on Oct. 30.

Harrington was emphasizing the need for the industry to be more inclusive.

“Diversity means everyone has a shot,” Harrington said.

He prefers diversity to social equity, saying that in his opinion social equity “is always brought up after the fact.” Diversity means not forgetting about under-represented communities from the get-go.

Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora welcomed the gathering and cited the turnout on a Tuesday night as a demonstration of the potential of cannabis to help revitalize Trenton.

The City Council recently passed an ordinance change that would allow a medical marijuana dispensary in a designated redevelopment zone.

“We wanted to be the first city in the state to say yes,” Gusciora said.

David Wenger, author of “The Green Regulatory Arbitrage: A Case for Investing in U.S. Multi-State Vertically-Integrated Cannabis Companies,” shared his thoughts on investing in cannabis.

The next CannaGather NJ will be Nov. 27 in New Jersey.

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