The Michigan cannabis industry is expanding as new strains and businesses enter the state market. Having more than ten years in the game, Viola along with NBA legend Allen Iverson is releasing his latest strain, IVERSON ’01. The second collaborative collection will be available exclusively in Michigan, which will complement the state’s starting business.

Viola, founded in 2011 by CEO Elle Harrington, is a leading manufacturer and licensed reseller of premium cannabis products owned by blacks. The IVERSON ’01 strain is part of a long-standing partnership between Viola and the basketball giant. The dominant turkey strain crosses F1 Durban, Gushers and Runtz. Pre-rolls and packaged flowers have been grown in Detroit and will be available for purchase at some dispensaries across the Detroit subway. Iverson will also appear at five dispensaries throughout the time to mark the collection; Bazonzoes at Walled Lake at 3pm on Friday, March 25, followed by 3Fifteen Cannabis at Hamtramck at 5pm. On Saturday, Iverson will welcome fans to Skymint at Hazel Park at 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m. at Liv in Ferndale, and 3:45 p.m. at Herbology at River Rouge.

“I am excited to continue the partnership with my brother Elam and bring our new strain to Detroit,” Iverson said. “Everything I do is for the fans and it’s no different.”

Although the strain is issued in a limited edition, the CEO will allow Michiganders to decide how long to keep the IVERSON ’01 strain in rotation. Viola plans to continue its efforts to find the best greens or purple that could be offered to consumers.

“We’ll let customers decide if we pull this off. One thing we just understand in the industry is people love new things, they love new genetics. We definitely want to be at the forefront of this. We are constantly engaged in hair dryer hunting and growing our own things, trying to find the next best thing, ”says Harrington.

Viola hopes her work is not only a staple in the cannabis industry, but also boosts justice for black and brown people, who are often excluded from the multibillion-dollar industry.

“Colored people make up less than six percent of the industry, and I think when you think of blacks, I think it’s less than two percent. But if you look at the history of this, 85 percent of all drug arrests in black communities were related to cannabis, ”says Harrington. “We don’t have any farms, we don’t have any trucks or anything like that, but we are being imprisoned for it by the distribution side. I wanted our people to be involved. I aim to change that with cannabis, and hopefully I can attract as many talented people to the industry as possible and we can win at the property level so we can dictate how we give to our community. ”

The Detroit City Council recently voted to increase recreational dispensaries with marijuana, but regulations threaten to slow progress, effectively preventing Detroit from leaving the recreational market. Although voters have decided to legalize marijuana in 2019, Detroit residents are facing a tough battle to open recreational dispensaries and other cannabis-related businesses. For Viola, as for Allen Iverson, the impetus for cannabis companies is here to push the boundaries and create new normality.

“When I think of Helen, the icon he is, how destructive he has been, how he has changed the way he plays, the way he is perceived, the way athletes have behaved in a positive way; it means being yourself, ”says Harrington. “Awareness that you can be yourself and people will love you for it. When I think of cannabis, it’s the same. This is groundbreaking. It’s devastating. We are constantly changing the way people perceive cannabis, the way they use cannabis; it’s perfectly coordinated. “

Viola currently operates in five states and across Canada. The IVERSON ’01 strain will be available from March 25.

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