The cannabis industry is booming. A Nevada company had a bright idea by making itself a major player in the industry. However, they're not growing marijuana, or even selling it.
They didn't exactly build a better light bulb, but they argue they did build a better lighting system.
"We have this fixture with a lot more whites and blues, which you can physically see," said Ben Arnet, co-founder and president of Fohse. "This one looks more orange or red."
LED GROW LIGHTS
They manufacture unique high-performance LED grow lights for cannabis.
"I mean, obviously, light is the driving force in photosynthesis," Arnet said.
The company started in 2015 when Arnet and four friends who had a passion for motocross, moved in together in Las Vegas. They decided to focus on Alex Gerard's idea.
"It's been a wild ride," Gerard said. "Yeah, there was a big opportunity in the market."
Arnet has a background in mechanical engineering and was building an innovative lighting system for marijuana growers.
"I mean, we really built the prototypes in a garage, a motor shop garage," Arnet said.
MIMIC THE SEASONS
Their high tech lighting system they designed, changes colors or spectrums to mimic the change of the seasons.
"So we can kind of tune it depending on what plants you're growing and what stage of growth those plants are in," Gerard said.
The result they say is a more efficient, effective way to grow better, more potent marijuana. Their sales grew off the charts.
"I think last year we did just about a million bucks a week in revenue," Arnet said, "It felt good."
Today their 25,000 square foot warehouse near E. Sunset Road and N. Green Valley Parkway is packed with lighting systems that are ready to be shipped out to their clients around the world.
Arnet said he looks forward to more states legalizing marijuana for their sales, "Oh yeah. Sales meetings get real jacked up."
Now the success of Fohse is gaining the attention of more traditional growers of tomatoes and other leafy greens who are becoming clients. Today, they employ 28 people in the valley and another 200 people overseas where the lights are assembled, and they will need to hire more.
"Right now we're looking at either buying or building a facility about four times this size," Arnet said. "Just to keep up with demand of product."
Now, many entrepreneurs pursue the new gold rush of growing and selling marijuana. This Nevada Built company had the bright idea to focus on the lights all growers need.
"What's the classic saying," Arnet said. "When people are mining for gold, sell picks and shovels."
This story was originally published by Todd Quinones of KTNV in Las Vegas.