A Dallas-Area Entrepreneur Is Preemptively Cornering Texas' Legal Marijuana Market
Marijuana is still very much illegal in Texas, and, whatever Governor Rick Perry says about "decriminalization", it will remain so for the immediate future.
The website for Cannabis Holdings, a Rockwall entrepreneur's effort to preemptively corner the legal marijuana market in Texas.
But the tide of public opinion is turning fast, and it's not so hard to imagine a day when Texas relaxes its weed ban. It almost seems like an inevitability.
That's what Jerry Grisaffi is banking on. "Once the cities and the government start tasting the tax revenue, all the other BS goes away," he says, referring to marijuana regulations in every state that's not Washington or Colorado.
Grisaffi doesn't know exactly when that domino will fall in Texas, or whether it will be for medical or recreational pot. He just knows he'll have the cannabis market cornered.
Cornering a market that doesn't yet exist would seem to pose an insurmountable challenge, but Grisaffi has a plan. His Dallas-based company, Republic of Texas Brands, is in the process of inking deals to distribute products made from THC-free cannabis (a.k.a. hemp), the idea being that it will have an established supply network for when the hemp can be replaced with actual weed.
First up is Chillo, a hemp-based energy drink emblazoned with a marijuana leaf that Grisaffi envisions competing with Red Bull and Monster. "I don't know what stores [Chillo will be available in locally], but I know they've already been out there pitching." The first shipment, he says, has already sold out.
Down the line, Grisaffi plans to expand to edibles, candy and baked goods and the like. He says he just got a sample shipment of scones and brownies that are potential Republic of Texas offerings and is looking at other marijuana-related revenue streams. He's considering an investment in a California grow farm and may buy a couple of vaping shops or hookah bars that could easily be converted to weed cafes should the opportunity arise.
Whether speculating on the demand for (and existence of) legal marijuana in Texas pays off, Grisaffi at least hopes this plan fares better than his last, which was to slap a Republic of Texas label on meat, barbecue sauce and vodka.
"We're moving completely away from that," he says. Cannabis is where the money is.
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