Al Harrington talks about empowering black people to own cannabis through the Free Music Festival


As the cannabis industry continues to grow in value, many in black and brown communities can’t help but notice the irony of it all. Millions of people (mostly colored) are stuck in long prison terms for selling a substance that many are now legally benefiting from.

The running theme is what inspired former NBA players Al Harrington and Wilson Chandler to work with Kanye West’s manager John Monopoly lead an initiative through Harrington’s VILLAGE to increase the growth of black participation in the cannabis industry.

Founded in 2011 by Harrington, VILLAGE serves as the largest national conglomerate for black-owned cannabis brands while actively building the current 3% market share of the black-owned cannabis industry.

“It is important for us to pave the way for more minority ownership in the cannabis industry,” said Harrington BLACK COMPANY. “Dan, my co-founder, and I have been in the cannabis industry for over a decade and with our knowledge and network we feel we are in a great place to make this possible.”

“We see the cannabis industry as an opportunity to have a black-owned Pepsi or Coke and create real generational opportunities for our community,” he added.

While the number of black-owned cannabis companies has increased, this is “nowhere near enough,” according to Harrington.

“As the business builds, we know firsthand how difficult it is to obtain licenses, on top of the added barriers to entry that other black entrepreneurs face,” said Harrington.

In addition to its service umbrella, VILLAGE has partnered with Wilson Chandler’s new cannabis dispensary, Nobody’s Home, to host a FREE music festival in Chandler’s hometown of Benton Harbor, Michigan on Saturday, September 4th.

Nobody is at home

The music festival aims to break down the systemic prejudices that plague color communities and prevent them from entering a thriving cannabis market.

“At the grassroots level, Nobody’s Home will be able to provide quality workplaces for community residents,” Chandler told BLACK ENTERPRISE.

“Benton Harbor is about 90 percent black with an annual income of less than $ 20,000. So I hope that Nobody’s Home gives residents the opportunity not only to work, but also to learn and inspire someone to branch out and start their own cannabis business, like me, as we grow in the cannabis space did with Al and Village. ”

As an active professional basketball player who currently plays for the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions of the Chinese Basketball Federation, Chandler has firsthand knowledge of the stigmata professional athletes face from using cannabis.

It’s something he brought up about American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson and how she missed attending the Tokyo Olympics for smoking marijuana.

“Since we live in an advanced society – I think the stigmata will go away in the near future,” said Chandler. “Everyone is trying to figure out how to normalize usage and highlight its benefits. Whether it is used for pain relief, relaxation or to promote sleep, it has been proven that using the plant as a natural alternative has many beneficial properties. “

“As more athletes make their use public and show how it doesn’t negatively affect their performance, I think the sports world will embrace and accept this new reality,” he added.

Through the art, music and culture of Nobody’s Home, festival goers become one of. Enjoy the curated opening lineup John Monopoly (Kanye West’s manager) with appearances by Rick Ross, G Herbo, Freddie Gibbs, Chase B, Jay Electronica, and other top artists.

In addition to working in the entertainment industry, Monopoly is proud to be a champion of the VILLAGE movement.

“Our top priority is to continue building strategic alliances in the music and entertainment space to expand beyond the cannabis industry, to raise awareness of Village’s mission and attract more investors and entrepreneurs,” said Monopoly BLACK COMPANIES.

The aim is to make Nobody’s Home festival an annual event that will stand the test of time.

“Yes, it will be an annual property that we will be doing every year,” said Monopoly. “This festival is just the beginning to show how cannabis has profoundly influenced culture as we know it, not just in music but in sports, entertainment and more.”

“It’s a celebration of this social change that is taking place and we can’t wait to continue that dynamic,” he added.

You can find more information about Nobody’s Home Festival HERE.