We have heard of a few former professional athletes who have made their way into the cannabis industry by coming up with their own line of cannabis products or by starting their own marijuana business.
We are talking about the likes of ex-NFL stars Tiki Barber and Joe Montana, retired NFL running back Ricky Williams, and former NBA star Lamar Odom. Of course, there’s boxing champ Mike Tyson, too, who is developing his own cannabis resort in California called the Tyson Ranch.
The number of former athletes who have joined the club of cannabis entrepreneurs continues to grow.
But do you know that a former NBA star owns a billion-dollar cannabis company, which he built a few years ago?
Al Harrington has tried businesses in the hotel and restaurant industries after his 16-year stint playing professional basketball. However, it seems like his true calling is in the cannabis industry.
Harrington has his own cannabis company called Harrington Wellness. It is a California-based company that produces cannabinoids. And through his company, the former basketball player is determined to make people aware of the positive benefits of medical cannabis.
Harrington said that he started looking into marijuana about a decade ago when he was dealing with 14 surgeries that he had undergone during the course of his career with the NBA.
Harrington Wellness now employs over 70 people in four states. And there are plans to expand the company to seven states in the U.S. by the end of this year.
Harrington believes that his company could be valued at $1 billion if he put it up for sale on the open market. However, he clarified that he is not doing it for the money, but that he is more focused on products, services, and patients. According to him, if they take care of these three, the money will be there.
With his hope of a $1-billion buyout for Harrington Wellness, he said that he is uniquely placed to join the likes of Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Michael Schumacher, and Arnold Palmer in the billionaire sportsperson club.
But wait, there’s more!
Harrington Wellness is only one of three businesses that make up The Harrington Group. There’s also Viola Extracts, which produces cannabis extracts, and cannabis edibles company Butter Baby.
Viola Extracts came first, and it was named after Harrington’s grandmother. Suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, and glaucoma, she tried cannabis at her grandson’s urging and found significant relief from her pain.
Harrington said that this had given him the energy to start learning more about the drug and to look into the cannabis industry.
He recalled that when he first wanted to invest in cannabis, he put it under his cousin’s name so that the NBA would not find out about it. He said that is was in 2011 and his contract with the NBA ran through 2014. But because he saw such an opportunity with cannabis, he just decided to invest in it.
In February 2018, Harrington launched Harrington Wellness. He also announced investing in a third company, Butter Baby.
Harrington added that one thing he is very passionate about is trying to open up avenues for people of color to be able to join in the cannabis industry.