Sports

Allen Iverson's Marijuana Collection Is Coming to Colorado

Allen Iverson played for the Denver Nuggets from 2006 to 2008.
Allen Iverson played for the Denver Nuggets from 2006 to 2008. Getty Images
Allen Iverson is returning to Denver...sort of.

The NBA icon and Basketball Hall of Famer was a member of the Denver Nuggets from 2006 to 2008. Although the team's success was marginal during his time here — the Nuggets won just one playoff game in two first-round exits — Iverson still had a cultural impact on the city, pairing with teammate Carmelo Anthony to create one of the more potent scoring duos in the NBA.

Now Iverson is pairing with another former Nugget to create something potent, but this time it's in the hash lab. He and Al Harrington, who played in Denver from 2010 to 2012 during a sixteen-year NBA career, are releasing a line of marijuana concentrate in Colorado through Harrington's cannabis company, Viola Brands.

Iverson's hash line, Iverson ’96, debuted late last year in California; the company now has plans to expand into the Colorado market on June 11. Named after the year he was drafted, Iverson ’96 is a cross of Secret Kush Mints and Purple Urkle Glue. The strain will be grown and extracted in Colorado by Viola, and sold exclusively at LivWell Enlightened Health dispensaries.
click to enlarge Iverson ’96 concentrates will be available in Colorado in June. - COURTESY OF VIOLA BRANDS
Iverson ’96 concentrates will be available in Colorado in June.
Courtesy of Viola Brands
Harrington's cannabis brand has expanded into five more states and Canada since launching in Colorado eight years ago. He became interested in medical marijuana during his time playing in Denver, he told Westword in a 2018 interview, and has become a visible figure for marijuana policy reform in professional sports. Despite his mounting success in legal marijuana, though, Harrington says he had to work hard to convince Iverson, who has endorsement deals with companies like Reebok and T-Mobile, to join the trade.

“It’s been a journey, bro,” Harrington told the Los Angeles Times in 2021 before the launch of Iverson ’96 in California. “A year and a half, from educating him to the point where he was comfortable. Like really understanding what Viola was about."

Iverson was a linchpin for a cultural movement in professional basketball, and one of the few athletes who transcended sports. Viewed as a threat by an older, crustier NBA establishment in the 2000s, Iverson represented a new mix of rebellion, grit and artistic talent on the basketball court. He won a Most Valuable Player award in 2001 and made eleven All-Star teams with his 6-foot, 165-pound frame, dabbled in a hip-hop career and even made headlines once in 1997 for a marijuana possession arrest.

According to the Times, Iverson no longer smokes pot, and had some reservations about linking his name to the plant given the stereotypes attached to him in the past. But Harrington has become a successful marijuana mentor, and the two continue to build on the Viola Iverson collection. A strain of flower named after his MVP season, Iverson ’01, was released in Michigan in March, and Viola plans to slowly roll out more Iverson products in Colorado.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell