Two years ago, the idea of bipartisan legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession in Texas would have sounded like a pipe dream. But now it’s a reality – along with the legalization of low-THC cannabis oil for medicinal purposes. It goes to show how attitudes have shifted about what used to be considered the demon weed.
It’s still illegal to grow and sell marijuana in Texas. But that hasn’t stopped Houstonian Jonathan Villagomez from trying to drum up business around the idea. He’s the owner of Errba Spectrum LED, a company that sells lighting for indoor growing.
“Cannabis is definitely something that we’re very hard marketing in. It’s a nice niche that were going into, but our panels are much more than that,” Villagomez says. “Really anything that photosynthesizes will be useful for panels, and that’s why we developed it.”
Villagomez says that he came up with the idea for the grow lights while working in IT. He says he noticed that the LED lights had qualities that made them ideal for growing plants.
“I noticed how bright those suckers are, and how really energy efficient they are,” Villagomez says. “That’s when my entrepreneur brain really started moving and I started thinking, ‘Where else can we apply this?'”
He says that Errba Spectrum has been able to sell lights to legal grow operations across the United States and Canada. But they’ve also found success outside of the cannabis industry – think florists, greenhouses, even biopharmaceutical companies, Villagomez says.
Even though his company has found success outside of marijuana growing, Villagomez says his company is also trying to change old ideas and stereotypes about cannabis and the people who use it.
“We’re all into educating people,” he says. “We’re very much a Christian-based, family-based company. We’re trying to stick it to the old propaganda mentality of you gotta be a lazy stoner, non-successful, no-kids nothing.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.