“We’re trying to get a billion-dollar exit,” Al Harrington tells me. This is not a crazy thing for the 6’9” former NBA journeyman to say; the hottest thing in the league these days, especially if you play for the Golden State Warriors, as Harrington once did, is to have a chunk of a tech startup. But Harrington’s billion won’t come from anything quite so disruptive. No, if Harrington has his way, he’ll get rich from something slightly more organic. Because Al Harrington is looking to become the league’s first marijuana mogul.
That’s why he’s taken me here: the Koreatown Medical Marijuana Collective, a charmingly ramshackle dispensary on Melrose in West Hollywood. They’ll be the sole California distributor of Harrington’s vapes, from Viola Extracts, and his CBD products (made from the non-psychoactive part of the plant), from Harrington Wellness. But this is just the start. He thinks the NFL will allow cannabis in one therapeutic form or another inside of three years, and the NBA inside five. And legal pot, broadly, is said to be a $40 billion industry. Harrington wants a chunk of that business. (Harrington sends me home with one of his vape cartridges. I’m no expert, but I’d pay a billion, maybe a billion-two, for the recipe.)