How Al Harrington Getting His Grandmother Stoned Resulted In Him Becoming A Marijuana Mogul

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In 2011, Al Harrington’s grandmother had a drawer full of opioids prescribed to her by medical professionals claiming they’d be the most effective remedy to alleviate the torturous symptoms of glaucoma.

On a particularly painful day, Grandma Harrington complained about the headaches, eye pain, and blurred vision to her grandson, who had just read an article about how cannabis could help in ways the heavier stuff couldn’t.

After a bit of pushback (she pejoratively called it ‘Reefer’), Harrington acquired some Vietnam Kush and a vaporizer, which proved to be the tools to give Grandma a new lease on life.

“I’m healed,” she said. “You know I haven’t been able to read the words in my Bible for three years.”

Not only is Grandma Harrington healed, but Al has become an industry-leading entrepreneur in the space, developing Viola Brands, a cannabis-based business designed to not only sell legal, medically prescribed products, but distribute their profits into low-income communities.

Harrington joined our Endless Hustle Podcast to discuss his unlikely evolution from NBA player to marijuana mogul.

Listen to the whole Al Harrington podcast below. We discuss:


10:25 mark: Al discusses how he went from being “scared” of cannabis to smoking for the first time with his NBA teammates.

12:28: The prevalence of weed in the NBA.

15:43: How he pissed Larry Bird off after being drafted out of high school by the Pacers.

19:04: Michael Jordan trash-talking etiquette.

23:17: The toughest NBA player he’s played against.

28:12: Al’s no good, very bad experience in China.


Matt Keohan Avatar
Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.