ST. LOUIS – The Downtown West neighborhood has changed in recent years. Alongside a brand new major league football stadium, parking garage and renovated stores, the latest addition to the burgeoning cannabis industry is hoping to draw attention.
Former NBA players Al Harrington and Larry Hughes, along with Abe Givens and Dan Pettigrew, are behind the new company, which promises jobs, diversity and inclusion.
“Larry is already doing everything in the community with his basketball stuff, and I know he does a lot with the homeless and all these different things,” said Al Harrington, chairman and CEO of Viola STL. “Obviously this is just a match made in Heaven.”
The store, located on the 2000 block of Olive Street, will be the only black-owned pharmacy in the downtown CBD.
“Historically, cannabis was used to destroy the black community,” Harrington said. “You know, 85% of drug arrests in the black community over the last 40 or 50 years have been cannabis related. Only four percent of these companies are owned by people of color.”
The conversion of the former Imo’s into a marijuana dispensary, just steps from Police Headquarters and across from CITYPARK Stadium, is just one of the many changes that have taken place in the Downtown West neighborhood.
“I’m pro-marijuana legalization, and I’m a ’60s kid, so it’s not new to me,” said Bob Schmidt, a resident of St. Louis.
Maggie O’Brien’s has also changed over the past year and they welcome their new neighbors.
“I don’t really see a problem with that,” said Cameron Snively, Maggie O’Brien’s manager. “Doesn’t really affect us in any way. People get jobs there and it’s good for St. Louis. So that’s all that matters at the end of the day.”
Viola STL plans to add more than 200 workstations between the downtown location and another Viola STL on the 3400 block of Iowa Street in the Cherokee neighborhood.
The store will open on January 27th.
https://fox2now.com/news/missouri/first-marijuana-dispensary-opens-soon-in-downtown-st-louis/ The first marijuana dispensary will soon open in downtown St. Louis