Black CannaBusiness Magazine announced on Tuesday that entrepreneur and NBA great Al Harrington will serve as the keynote speaker for this month’s Black CannaConference and Expo 2021, the only B2B cannabis conference specifically geared to Black professionals in the industry. The business conference and exhibition kick off in New Orleans on November 18 and will focus on the progression of cannabis policy reform in the Southern Gulf Coast region and opportunities for Black entrepreneurs.
Harrington, the founder and CEO of multi-state cannabis company Viola Brands, entered the cannabis industry after a 16-year career in the National Basketball Association. His company now has a footprint in California, Oregon, Washington and Michigan, operating cultivation and processing facilities as well as a cannabis dispensary in Detroit. Harrington, whose foray into legal marijuana was recently profiled on HBO’s “Real Sports,” has a stated mission to increase Black ownership in the cannabis industry while having a positive impact on communities adversely impacted by the War on Drugs.
“I’m honored to be a keynote speaker at the second annual Black CannaConference, an event that shares our mission to build up Black cannabis entrepreneurs and bring equity to the cannabis space,” Harrington said in a press release. “We’re excited to have a place for our community to learn and grow together.”
Panel Will Explore Cannabis In Sports
This year’s Black CannaConference, the second annual gathering of BIPOC cannabis professionals produced by Black CannaBusiness Magazine, will feature a panel on cannabis and athletes, with an emphasis on the stigma that exists for cannabis and CBD in professional sports. Participants in the panel will include Delvin Breaux, former cornerback with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and a native of the Big Easy.
“We’re grateful to have such influential athletes participating in Black CannaConference supporting the important role of athletes in cannabis as well as the connection between growing Black businesses in the cannabis space and social justice,” Kristi Price, founder and CEO of KRMA Media, Inc, the parent company of Black CannaBusiness Magazine, said in a press release. “This will be an incredibly impactful and educational conference for Black cannabis entrepreneurs and industry allies alike. We can’t wait to welcome attendees and conference participants to New Orleans at such a critical point in Louisiana’s medical market conversation.”
Supporting BIPOC Ownership In Cannabis
Other main stage keynote speakers for the conference include Dr. Rachel Knox, founder of Chem Global; LOWD CEO Jesce Horton; Wanda James, CEO of Simply Pure; Dr. Chanda Macias, founder of Ilerra Holistic; and Karim Webb, founder of 4thMVMT. Black CannaConference 2021 will also feature workshops for participants as well as “Blazing Stage” open-platform presentation sessions exploring topics crucial to BIPOC-owned cannabis businesses including cultivation, social equity, capital funding, and Black politics.
“Less than 4% of all cannabis businesses are Black-owned and the only way to address this staggering racial disparity is by educating and connecting not only the Black cannabis community but also our industry allies,” Price said in a recent statement. “We founded Black CannaCon with the mission to create a space that empowers cannabis professionals to build a more representative and equitable cannabis industry. Following last year’s virtual event, we look forward to bringing our community together in-person during this crucial stage of growth in the industry.”
Black CannaConference 2021 will be held from Thursday, November 18 through Saturday, November 18 at the Ernest M. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. More information is available online.