Viola Extracts Featured on

by Gregory Daurer on December 11, 2016, 09:55 am MST


Founded: 2014

Privately owned

Employees: 20

Industry: Bioscience & Medical

Products: Cannabis extracts

CEO Dan Pettigrew says customers from grandmothers to veterans find his company’s THC-forward hash oil medically effective.

viola_index_320_195_s_c1Explaining the origin of his company’s name, Pettigrew says that the elderly grandmother of a friend, his initial investor, tried cannabis for the first time in Colorado. She experienced relief from her eye pain, caused by cataracts, and was able to read her Bible again — something she hadn’t been able to do in years. Pettigrew says, “The effect it had on her was so positive that it just kind of made sense to name the company after her as an honor to her, and as a reminder to us of really why we do this, and why we need to hold ourselves to the highest standard.”

Who’s “dabbing” or “vaping” Viola Extracts’ butane hash oil (BHO), these days? “Our customers are extremely diverse,” Pettigrew says. “There’s 22-year-old-kids, there’s military veterans, there’s soccer moms, there’s corporate CEOs.”


In a 12,000-square-foot building in northeast Denver, Viola Extracts grows its own cannabis, and uses its four extraction machines and 10 ovens to process the raw cannabis into a highly concentrated product. “Butane hash is basically using butane to strip the THC off of the plant,” Pettigrew says. “We then cook the butane off, and what we end up with is a pretty pure product that can come in the form of either ‘live resin’ or ‘wax’ or ‘shatter.’ The three of those are based on different consistencies.”

He explains that “live resin” is made using freshly-harvested, frozen cannabis; the end result sometimes resembles crystallized honey. “Shatter” and “wax” are derived from already-dried plant material — the former looking like translucent, amber glass. Pettigrew calls it a “very, very clean product and a very, very high-quality product.”

And the effect compared with smoking marijuana flowers? “It’s just a more concentrated experience,” says Pettigrew. “So, the THC is more concentrated, the [scent-giving] terpenes are more concentrated . . . the flavor is more concentrated.” Displaying a small plastic container of his live resin made from the Kosher Kush strain, the fruity aromas tingle the nostrils like an aromatherapy oil; the names of the most popular Viola strains give further indication of their scents or flavors: e.g., Papaya and Lemon OG.

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Retired NBA Vets Are Making Marijuana The New Pick And Roll


Viola Harrington couldn’t take it anymore. Even the backbone of a family has a breaking point. She was in pain. And it was hard for her to see.

Her story, part of a recently released campaign in support of Proposition 64, which would legalize marijuana in California for recreational use — and is expected to win in a landslide vote Nov. 8 — revolves around the pressure on Harrington’s eyes, a painful condition brought on by glaucoma. Her grandson is former NBA forward Al Harrington — and when he saw her nearly weeping from pain at his kitchen table, he made an unorthodox suggestion — at least unorthodox for a grandson and his grandmother. Perhaps she should try getting high.

Al Harrington, 30 at the time and in his first season with the Denver Nuggets, had heard the talk around the city. It was 2011, and Colorado was moving toward legalization of marijuana. The state’s medical program was already happening.

“Boy, I ain’t smokin’ no marijuana!” That’s what Viola Harrington shot back.

“She just went in,” said Al Harrington with a laugh. “So I’m like, ‘Aight, Grandma.’ Whatever.”

The next day Grandma Harrington was back at the kitchen table, her face again buried in her hands. The pain was nearly nauseating. Her grandson had done the research. There was a strain of cannabis called “Vietnam Kush” that reportedly helped with vision issues. Al Harrington explained the benefits. Viola Harrington expressed her concerns.

But eventually, she agreed. Al Harrington had a friend vaporize the kush. Viola Harrington smoked it in her grandson’s garage. Afterward, he walked her back to her room and let her lie down. An hour-and-a-half later, he checked on her. “I haven’t,” she said, “been able to read the words in my Bible in over three years.” Her tears of joy became his. Her eye pain, according to Al Harrington and his grandmother, greatly subsided. From that moment, he began an even deeper dive into the medical benefits of marijuana.

The following year was Al Harrington’s second and most impressive season with the Nuggets. He posted 14.2 points and 6.1 rebounds a night on what was then the highest scoring team in the NBA. Harrington tore his meniscus at the end of the regular season, leaving his playoff availability in jeopardy. He fought through the pain and helped the Nuggets nearly escape with a first round upset of Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nuggets lost in seven games.


VICE – Bong Appetit: Simply Pure

Let’s get cooking! Host Abdullah Saeed travels to his home-away-from-home—the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado—for another weedful day. Here he meets cannabis enthusiasts and entrepreneurs Wanda James and Chef Scott Durrah, the first African-Americans licensed in the state of Colorado to own a dispensary and manufacturer of infused products: Simply Pure. Abdullah meets up with the pair at their restaurant, Jezebel’s Southern Bistro & Bar, for food with a Southern flair and a Coloradan attitude. Next, Abdullah tours the Simply Pure Dispensary and Viola Extracts to get schooled on some of the finest green goodies ever grown, with guidance from owner Dan Pettigrew and expert extractor Professor Piff. After Abdullah smokes some samples, he hangs with Chef Durrah for a lesson in pairing papaya weed with sweet Jamaican curry mussels and more for a simply, purely, perfectly home-cooked meal amongst friends. Just be sure to get your measurements right.

Capitalizing On Cannabis: Meet Colorado’s Black ‘Potrepreneurs’

Source: NBC News

On November 6, 2012 Colorado voters approved controversial and groundbreaking legislation making the rocky mountain state – fittingly home to the “Mile High City” of Denver – the first in the nation to allow adults over the age of 21 to use and grow small amounts of marijuana at home for both medical and recreational purposes. The first recreational marijuana stores, known as dispensaries, officially opened on January 1, 2014, marking what supporters call a long overdue end to “marijuana prohibition.”

In its first year alone, the industry proved lucrative with $700 million of medical and recreational marijuana sold, totaling 75 tons of cannabis flower and 50 million units of pot edibles, according to the Marijuana Enforcement Division’s annual report. The upward trend has continued in year two, with Colorado Department of Revenue data showing an estimated $36.4 million of recreational marijuana sold in January of this year alone, a record compared to the $14.69 million sold in the same month in 2014.

Although exorbitant start-up costs, intensive government regulation and ongoing stigma remain barriers to entry, industry observers say some African Americans are managing to cash in on the high profits that abound.

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