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Hometown hero Larry Hughes announced he will be opening two medical dispensaries and a cultivation and processing center in St. Louis. The venture, Viola Missouri (VMO) is the result of a partnership with his former NBA teammate, the veteran cannabis industry executive Al Harrington. He and Hughes were teammates on the New York Knicks from 2008 to 2010.

Hughes sees the dispensaries as an offshoot of his efforts to break down stigma around mental health issues and serve as a positive influence in his community. “I am honored to bring VMO to life in St. Louis,” Hughes said in a statement. “VMO will serve the medical needs of our community, particularly those suffering with physically and mentally debilitating conditions, including PTSD.”

VMO marks yet another newsworthy expansion of Viola, or Village Brands. Harrington has been receiving a lot of press lately for his advocacy on behalf of Black cannabis businesses, for Viola’s rapid expansion, and for savvy partnerships like this one.

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