Sparking change


Photo Courtesy of Joey Asturias

Sofia Garcia, Art & Life Editor

UTSA alumnus Joey Asturias and his team at the Green Lab have started a movement called #GROW2020 that they hope will change the stigma around cannabis. The Green Lab is a marketing agency that aims to endorse different companies involved with marijuana and CBD. Focusing on brand building, the Green Lab has started a campaign centered around normalizing the use of cannabis. Starting with students at UTSA, Asturias plans to eventually influence the entire San Antonio area.

“I want to normalize the use of cannabis using the college students in the area. They are really the center of movements like these and have the ability to influence major change,” Asturias stated.

Asturias graduated in May 2019 with a marketing degree and was eager to continue his hard work with different brands, some of which include HighTimes and Day One CBD Sparkling Water. To gain experience with the “business-to-consumer” side of the Green Lab, he contributed to the multimedia component of the company by through YouTube channel, podcast and website.

Asturias found himself seeking more involvement with the Green Lab and moved to the marketing department, where he learned to develop designs that allowed more exposure for the companies that desired it.

Asturias found inspiration for the movement within the Barack Obama “Hope” poster; he was interested in the way the artist used his own brand to make a political impact. Asturias plans to use his clothing brand, “Rair Threads,” to merge streetwear and politics.

With this plan in mind, he will take to the UTSA campus in hopes of using his platform to normalize cannabis use and making strides to break the stigma surrounding the plant. The criminal justice system is a for-profit business, with Texas being at the helm for marijuana arrests. 12% of America’s marijuana charges came from the state of Texas.

Possession of marijuana in small quantities is decriminalized in San Antonio, but the hardship and inconvenience of being detained for a crime that will inevitably be thrown out in court still enforces the stigma surrounding marijuana.

Asturias believes that marijuana users are no different from non-smokers, and his campaign will seek to prove this over the coming months.

Asturias plans to stay with the Green Lab and continue working toward fostering the conversation surrounding marijuana and CBD.