Viola Archives - Green Market Report

StaffJune 21, 2023


The Daily Hit is a recap of the top financial news stories for June 21, 2023.

On the Site

TerrAscend Gets Green Light for TSX Listing, $15M Offering

A top North American cannabis operator, TerrAscend Corp., has received conditional approval to list its common shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), the company said Wednesday. The move, which is still subject to meeting certain customary conditions, marks a significant milestone for the cannabis industry. Read more here.

Viola Entering the Chicago Cannabis Market

A familiar name in the cannabis world is coming to Chicago, where a Viola retail store is set to open in the next week. It’s the latest among the roughly two dozen new pot shops to open since the state of Illinois awarded 192 licenses last year after lengthy legal delays. Read more here.

Body and Mind Stays Bullish on Expansion Despite Revenue Slump

Body and Mind Inc. (CSE: BAMM) (OTCQB: BMMJ) posted $7.3 million in revenue for the third quarter of fiscal year 2023, which ended on April 30, 2023. The results represented a slight slump from the company’s previous quarter revenues of $7.7 million. Read more here.

Oregon’s Cannabis Retailers Must Comply with New Tax Rules or Forfeit Licenses, State Says

Oregon is now mandating marijuana retailers to establish good standing with state tax collectors before renewing their business licenses — or risk losing the permit altogether. The rule is a temporary measure set to last until December 12, but will be revisited later this year for permanent rulemaking, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission’s Recreational Marijuana Program said in a June 16 statement. Read more here.

Maryland Cannabis Company Headed to Auction Block

Maryland-based Temescal Wellness Maryland, better known as Evermore Cannabis is headed to the auction block on Monday June 26, 2023. The company apparently defaulted on a loan from the lenders Ascend Maryland 2 LLC. The assets are being sold as they were used to secure the loan. Read more here.

In Other News

Statehouse Holdings Corp.

StateHouse Holdings Inc. (CSE: STHZ) (OTCQX: STHZF), a California-focused, vertically integrated cannabis enterprise, continues to engage in discussions related to potential future financing options. In addition, the company’s Series A debtholders have granted StateHouse a further extension to July 3, on repayment of the company’s outstanding debt obligations owing to the Series A Debtholders. Read more here.

New York

The Coalition for Access to Regulated & Safe Cannabis (CARSC), which represents licensed registered medical cannabis operators and equity applicants excluded from New York’s nascent adult-use market, released a report detailing the severe degree to which the State’s adult-use cannabis program is failing to meet tax revenue targets. Coming into 2023, NYS projected it would generate $56 million in state cannabis tax revenues in the first year of legal adult-use sales with most of the money — $40 million — coming from licensing fees paid by growers and sellers. Read more here.

New Jersey

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission approved several additional legal marijuana stores to open while underscoring sales from both recreational and medical cannabis has brought in roughly $180 million. Read more here.

John PletzJune 21, 2023


This story was reprinted with permission from Crain’s Chicago and written by John Pletz.

A familiar name in the cannabis world is coming to Broadview, where a Viola retail store is set to open in the next week.

It’s the latest among the roughly two dozen new pot shops to open since the state of Illinois awarded 192 licenses last year after lengthy legal delays.

Preliminary licenses were issued just as private funding dried up and construction and other costs soared across the industry. As a result, many of the new stores that have managed to get open in this environment have one thing in common: affiliation with established operators in the cannabis industry, either in Illinois or other states.

Viola Chi is led by Dan Pettigrew, a Hyde Park entrepreneur and cannabis-industry veteran, and business partner Al Lomax. Pettigrew co-founded cannabis company Viola Brands with Al Harrington, a former pro basketball player, in Denver in 2011.

Pettigrew and Lomax won two licenses in Illinois. After opening the store at 1516 W. Roosevelt Road in Broadview, they plan to open another on Webster Avenue near Damen Avenue later this year.

Pettigrew and Lomax raised about $5 million for the Illinois stores apart from Viola Brands, drawing on relationships with Black business owners and investors.

“We understood it was going to be challenging,” Pettigrew says. “We’ve been operating in the legal cannabis space for over 12 years. We’re in a unique position (as minority owners) with a strong team and strong partners.”

The Chicago company is partnering with Viola Brands, which has operations in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri and Oregon, with facilities under construction in California and New Jersey. It also has won licenses in Maryland and other states.

Two other Chicago-area pot shops that have opened include those under the Spark’d brand. A Spark’d store that opened last month in Wicker Park is majority-owned by social-equity applicants Loretta and Priscilla Foster, who partnered with Paul Lee, a co-owner of Dispensary 33, which is one of the original Chicago dispensaries that launched with the state’s medical-marijuana program nearly a decade ago. A store in Hoffman Estates that opened in January is majority-owned by social-equity applicant Edward Bransford, who partnered with Bryan Zises, another co-owner of Dispensary 33.

“The Illinois application process was built to marry capital with experience with social equity,” Zises says. “That’s exactly what we did.”

Other familiar cannabis names among the newly opened stores in Illinois are Body & Mind, a publicly traded company with operations in Nevada, California, Arkansas, Michigan and Ohio; Star Buds, based in Denver, Colo.; and World of Weed, based in Tacoma, Wash., which is operating under the Ivy Hall name in Montgomery and Waukegan.

“Most of the people opening stores are extremely familiar with opening and operating a dispensary,” says Pam Althoff, former executive director of the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois, an industry trade group. “They know what it takes.”

Many winners of dispensary licenses have struggled to raise capital and get stores up and running. It’s one reason state legislators approved a one-year extension on the amount of time license winners had to find locations for new stores and authorized a $40 million loan fund.

“There’s no money anywhere in cannabis right now,” says Laura Jaramillo Bernal, chief operating officer at NuEra, an existing cannabis operator with six stores in Illinois. “For social-equity applicants who don’t have collateral or previous operating experience, it’s especially challenging.”


StaffJanuary 12, 2022


Michigan-based Viola Brands announced the closing of a $13 million equity funding round. The company said this latest round of funding will allow it to expand into several key new markets, including PennsylvaniaIllinoisNew Jersey, and Maryland, and continue executing on strategic marketing initiatives, further positioning Viola to be one of the top brands and operators in the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Viola also said it is considering raising additional capital aimed at increasing supply to meet market demand.

“We’re looking forward to a big 2022. The team at DelMorgan has always supported our vision and continues to be great partners for us as we bring Viola to new markets.” – Al Harrington, Co-Founder & CEO of Viola.

Viola closed on a $16 million funding round led by Gotham Green Partners 2019. Viola is the leading Black-owned producer and licensed wholesaler of premium cannabis products rooted in purpose. Founded in 2011, NBA veteran Al Harrington was inspired to launch the brand by his grandmother, Viola, who suffers from glaucoma and diabetes and found solace in cannabis remedies. The brand integrates the latest cutting-edge technology with its own proprietary processes designed for every stage of cultivation, extraction and production. Viola is known for its wide variety of product offerings, from high-quality flower to premier butane extracts. From regulation to representation and reform, Viola’s mission is to create opportunities for communities of color in the cannabis industry.

Viola products are now available in select Oklahoma dispensaries, and vape cartridges and pens are now available in select Colorado dispensaries. In July, Viola announced a partnership with NBA Legend Allen Iverson. The icon and people’s champ entered into a multi-year partnership that spans cannabis, product, and merchandise with Viola. Viola has a dispensary in Detroit and a partnership for dispensaries in Missouri with former NBA player Larry Hughes. Viola Missouri or VMO was awarded four licenses which made them one of 11 fully integrated cannabis operators in the state. VMO also stands as the only Black-owned and operated cannabis company in Missouri

DelMorgan & Co., an internationally recognized investment banking firm headquartered in Santa Monica, California, acted as an exclusive strategic transaction advisor to Viola in connection with the transaction.

Rob Delgado, Chairman of DelMorgan, commented, “Al Harrington has proven himself to be a visionary in the Cannabis industry, demonstrating an ability to execute on initiatives that resonate deeply with today’s popular culture and consumers.”  Neil Morganbesser, President & CEO of DelMorgan, noted, “This investment is transformative, allowing Viola to significantly accelerate its expansion nationwide as one of the most iconic brands in cannabis.”  Chris Delgado, Senior Managing Director at DelMorgan, added, “Under Al Harrington’s leadership, Viola has demonstrated how a commercially successful brand can benefit from a mission-driven focus. This mission and focus will be further strengthened through this investment.”

Check out our interview with Harrington in 2019 here.


StaffJanuary 20, 2020


Full birth name: Ericka Pittman

Title: Chief Marketing Officer

Company: Viola

Years at current company: Less than a year, previously was at Combs Enterprises for almost a decade

Education profile: Bachelor’s Degree Corp Comm- Bernard Baruch College 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Becoming Chief Marketing Officer of the #2 Premium PH Bottled Water Company

Company Mission: Viola is a purposeful brand that uses the power of cannabis to transform the lives of minorities by increasing representation, facilitating community building and providing employment opportunities.

Company’s most successful achievement: Viola is one of the largest independently owned African American Cannabis companies in the US with multi-state operations in Colorado, Oregon, California, and Michigan. 

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes

if so, how much?: Viola recently raised a $16M in a Series A funding round which will go toward Viola’s continued expansion mission into the Michigan and California markets.

Any plans on raising capital in the future?

Viola is poised to achieve substantial growth over the upcoming months.  We have developed an iron-clad business plan that we believe will carry us through this next business cycle. As we continue to assess the ever-expanding world of cannabis, we will evaluate the need for external capital and decide accordingly.

Most important company 5-year goal:

Viola plans to spearhead a purpose-driven lifestyle movement that results in more than 10,000 jobs, hundreds of new business owners and increased industry diversity through job opportunities, training programs, cannabis startup incubation and more.

Personal Bio

Ericka Pittman is a highly accomplished Marketing Executive with more than 25 years of success in the CPG, beauty, luxury goods, wine & spirits, food & beverage, tech and media industries.  Prior to joining Viola brands, Ericka was the Chief Marketing Officer at AQUAhydrate, Inc. where she was responsible for spearheading and directing the Company’s marketing, sales functions, and departmental goals, objectives, and operating procedures. Before, AQUAhydrate, Ericka spent 9 years at Combs Enterprises holding multiple roles within the organization including Vice President of the Chairman’s Office.  Ericka had previously spent 15 years working in interactive and publishing media, holding positions at; Honey, Heart & Soul, and Savoy Magazine (Vanguard Media Group); Baby Talk Magazine (Time Inc.); Glamour Magazine (Condé Nast); Vibe & Vixen Magazines (Vibe Media Group); and GIANT Magazine (Radio One Inc).

She currently serves as a member of a number of organizations including Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN), National Association of Professional Women and Advertising Women of New York (AWNY). She also lends her time and energy to a number of causes and other organizations, including Dress for Success and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

Ericka holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Corporate Communications from Baruch College as well as an Executive Women in Leadership certification from eCornell University. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, she now resides in Los Angeles, CA.


Video StaffDecember 30, 2019


Cannabis industry experts like Al Harrington from Viola and Ed Keating with CannaBiz Media believe there will be more consolidation within the cannabis industry in 2020. Sadly, some expect to hear of more failures as many entered the space thinking it would be easier that it is. Thank you for watching the Green Market Report! Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with all out videos.

William SumnerOctober 7, 2019


It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for October 7, 2019.

On the Site

NBA Veteran Al Harrington’s Viola Closes on $16m Financing Round

NBA veteran Al Harrington’s Viola closed on a $16 million funding round led by Gotham Green Partners. This is the first institutional investment in the company. The company said that this latest round of funding will assist with the acquisition of a 34,500 sq. ft cultivation, processing and distribution facility in Adelanto, California as well as the completion of Viola’s 48,000 sq. ft facility in Detroit, Michigan. The funds will also enable Viola to continue to advance the growth of the company’s personnel with key new hires that will continue to establish Viola as a leader in the cannabis marketplace.

Surterra Wellness

Surterra Wellness today announced that it has changed its corporate name to Parallel effective today. In June, Private cannabis company Surterra Wellness closed on the initial $100 million Series D funding round and expanded its Board of Directors.  The company noted back then that the participants in the round included existing and new investors including former Patrón Spirits Company CEO, Ed Brown.

The Power That Data Has On Brand

Knowledge is power and the more data you have the better choices you can make for your brands. Akerna has been gathering data through its MJ Platform and will demonstrate how this data can be used for success with your brand. This panel was taped at the green Market Summit on September 11 in Los Angeles.

In Other News


TerrAscend Corp. (CSE: TER) (OTCQX: TRSSF) announced that Health Canada has approved the company’s plan to expand its facility in Mississauga, Ontario from from 17,800 sq. ft. to 51,800 sq. ft. The expansion will include additional cultivation capacity, a commercial kitchen, formulation rooms and increased primary and secondary packaging capacity. “Achieving this approval milestone is a crucial step in our plan to cultivate premium grade cannabis at scale for distribution to the EU and other international markets,” said Michael Nashat, CEO of TerrAscend.

Emerald Health Therapeutics

Emerald Health Therapeutics (TSXV: EMH) (OTCQX: EMHTF) announced that its subsidiary, Verdélite, has a received a license amendment from Health Canada for the complete growing and processing area in its 88,000 square foot indoor facility. This will allow the company to increase its production space from 4 to 21 highly-controlled-environment grow rooms and to a total of 16 processing rooms. “This new license amendment allows Verdélite to transition into its full commercial phase and positions Verdélite as a key growth contributor to Emerald’s financial results in 2020,” said Riaz Bandali, CEO of Emerald Health.

Debra BorchardtOctober 7, 2019


NBA veteran Al Harrington’s Viola closed on a $16 million funding round led by Gotham Green Partners. This is the first institutional investment in the company.

The company said that this latest round of funding will assist with the acquisition of a 34,500 sq. ft cultivation, processing and distribution facility in Adelanto, California as well as the completion of Viola’s 48,000 sq. ft facility in Detroit, Michigan. The funds will also enable Viola to continue to advance the growth of the company’s personnel with key new hires that will continue to establish Viola as a leader in the cannabis marketplace.

“Over the last five years, Viola has been dedicated to creating and producing quality herbal experiences for our customers,” said Al Harrington, CEO of Viola. “With the financial support and investment of Gotham Green Partners, our ability to dedicate more physical space to growing and cultivating our flowers and team will make the possibilities endless.”

Viola was founded in 2011 by NBA veteran Al Harrington.  The brand is named after and inspired by Al’s grandmother, who suffers from glaucoma and diabetes and finds solace in cannabis remedies.

Viola makes a range of cannabis that range from  cultivating premium flower to processing butane extracts. Viola  is currently available in Colorado, Oregon, Michigan and California.

“We are thrilled to be aligned with Viola as the company expands its lifestyle brand into new markets,” said Jason Adler, Managing Member of Gotham Green Partners. “As the firm’s visionary, Al has successfully launched the concept and subsequently surrounded himself with a top-notch management team. Further, Al’s background and the company’s mission resonate with a broad and engaged consumer base, and we are excited to see Viola products on more retail shelves across the country.”

Gotham Green Partners has been deploying capital in the cannabis space with a presence in both New York and California.

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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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