Al Harrington, a former NBA player that spent most of his 16 year career with the Indiana Pacers, is becoming a marijuana tycoon. He states that he didn’t smoke as a kid or during his career. He remembers when former NBA commissioner David Stern held a hard stance against marijuana. Now, Stern, like many others, has changed his stance on the substance partly thanks to a conversation he had with Harrington. Harrington started the business when he was still in the NBA, but he had to hide it from the NBA. He started his company in 2011 after buying some weed for his Grandma to help with her sicknesses. She almost immediately felt the benefits and he decided this would be his next venture. He then named the company after his Grandma Viola. 7 years ago Harrington started the company with USD$5M and is now raising funding at a valuation of USD$100M. The company is worth around 1 Billion if he were to sell it on the open market. The vast amount of different people that have had the chance to enter the cannabis industry is truly amazing. It is a new market full of opportunities.
In New Brunswick a man named Tanner Stewart has come up with a very different way of growing. He is the founder of Stewart Farms a very ambitious aquaponic project. Stewart has an incredibly large complex where he grows tilapia fish. He believes that the principles he uses in growing his fish could be put to good use in the cannabis industry to grow a sustainable, pesticide free, organic cannabis product. The tanks used for the tilapia could be used for cannabis as they are filled with most of the nutrients the plants need to grow. However, Stewart isn’t alone in producing both in one spot, Green Relief is doing the same thing on their farm.
Scientists in California put genes from a cannabis plant into yeast strains which led to the growth of cannabinoids – an important chemical in cannabis that has therapeutic value – inside the yeast. The discovery was actually accidental, they simply changed what the yeast was nourished with et voila. They are unsure whether having pure cannabinoid can be beneficial as it is generally the combination of the different chemicals in cannabis that create the benefits. However, this could change the way cannabis could be farmed as the “cannayeast” is very easy to grow and is less damaging to the environment than regular farming.