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August 23, 2023

Allen Iverson's cannabis strain to be sold at medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania

The collaboration with Al Harrington's Viola brand will be available Sept. 2 at RISE stores

Allen Iverson's impact on the game of basketball is well-documented, and the former NBA MVP is still lauded as one of the most influential players 13 years after his last game. The Answer, as he is affectionately known, also has a cultural influence that extends into his business ventures. 

This fall, the Iverson '01 cannabis strain by Viola Brands, the marijuana company founded by former NBA player Al Harrington, will be sold in Pennsylvania. Beginning Sept. 2, the strain can be purchased by customers with legal medical cannabis cards.

Iverson has two marijuana strain collaborations with Viola, the Iverson '96 and Iverson '01, which commemorate the year the Sixers drafted him first overall and the year he won MVP while taking the team to the NBA Finals, respectively. The first strain debuted in 2021, and the second in 2022. 

The Sept. 2 Pennsylvania launch coincides with Harrington and Iverson coming to Kensington's newly opened RISE location (3903 Aramingo Ave.) for a meet-and-greet with prizes and merchandise, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported. 

Iverson and Harrington became business partners in 2021. 

"After seeing how devoted (Al) is to this business and him educating me on how beneficial the plant is, it just felt right. I'm excited to be a part of it. Together, we're going to change the game," Iverson said at the time. 

Harrington started Viola in 2011 while still playing in the NBA. The company is named after his grandmother, whom he convinced to try smoking marijuana for her glaucoma. 

"In the same way Allen impacted the culture, we're going to continue to impact the cannabis industry," Harrington said.

Viola aims to increase minority ownership in the cannabis industry by investing in Black communities and creating opportunities for others in the space. Harrington, who has advocated for legislative marijuana reform in Detroit and with U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, discussed his marijuana business in an episode of HBO's "Real Sports" in July of 2021.

This July, Viola brought the Iverson '01 strain to New Jersey's RISE dispensaries, reported. The flower will be $45 for Iverson '01 strains and $40 for all other Viola strains. 

There are currently 18 RISE locations in Pennsylvania, including three in the Philadelphia region. 

While the launch of Viola is exclusively at RISE dispensaries, it will soon be available at other retail dispensaries statewide, a spokesperson for the company confirmed.