Agricultural lighting company Violet Gro opened its new headquarters in Grand Junction last week.

The company spun off from Orlando, Florida-based Violet Defense Group on Jan. 1 and opened its Grand Junction office at 2764 Compass Drive, Suite 101. Violet Gro will now run distinctly as its own business and has raised more than $1 million. Kurt Kucera will serve as president and global head of business development for Violet Gro.

The business is an LED lighting company that aims to help indoor agricultural growers by providing more light to plants with less heat and reducing exposure to harmful bacteria and insects. Violet Defense has developed UV light technology to help kill bacteria in the medical field.

Violet Gro has worked closely with farmers in the hemp industry in the area, which Violet Defense CEO Terry Berland said is a perk of locating in Grand Junction.

“We have a big belief that hemp will be a real transformative part of the cannabis story. And one of the best places to find hemp is going to be on the Western Slope,” Berland said.

The company has had a presence in the Grand Valley for some time, but received some incentive to locate its headquarters in town last year. Violet Go was accepted into the Rural Jump-Start Tax Credit program, which is intended to attract jobs to rural areas. Violet Gro is planning to hire four or five employees over the next year. Berland said the company could hire its first of the new employees this week.

C.J. Rhyne, business retention and expansion director for the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, attended a ribbon-cutting for the new Violet Gro headquarters last week and said it is good to see businesses from outside the area recognize that the Grand Valley is a good place to operate.

“I think it’s integral to keep focusing on diversifying our economy. This another way we can do that,” he said. “This will open and expand doors for us immensely for other companies like these guys to come in here and invest in our area.”

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