If you have an idea, just run with it. Entrepreneurship is a journey and the more reps you have under your belt, whether success or failure, the more creative and adaptable you’ll be in the future.
Josh Camitta, co-founder of MJ Arsenal, is a former professional golfer that worked for the world-renowned PGA Tour before starting MJ Arsenal. As someone who experienced anxiety disorders in his life, Camitta found that cannabis is the best alternative to pharma based prescriptions. Wanting to elevate the smoking experience, Camitta built a consumer focused company on the principles of innovation, affordability, and functionality.
Camitta is an avid cannabis product designer. His first invention, The Grale, enabled MMJ patients and responsible recreational consumers to identify their ideal flower dosage based on the weight and strength of their cannabis. In 2014, Josh was issued his first patent on The Grale covering a proprietary grinding and weighting function for all vegetative materials.
Josh and MJ Arsenal have been featured on Big Buds, Forbes, Greentrepreneur, Cheddar, NYT, Magnetic Mag, High Times, and Gangly. In 2017, MJ Arsenal’s first feature product, The Martian™ Original Joint and Blunt Bubbler, went viral when NowThisNews created a product review video. The video garnered more than 16+ million views to date and catapulted the company into mainstream cannabis consumer consciousness.
Where did the idea for MJ Arsenal come from?
MJ Arsenal’s concepts can go from pad to product within 30 days, so we’re producing a veritable “arsenal” of high quality original smoking accessories, products, and glassware. The general idea since company inception was to equip consumers both novice and expert alike, with the most affordable, cost effective, and innovative consumption tools possible.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Goals are the motor that drive me through my days, weeks, months, and years. Each of those time frames have their own sets of goals. Earlier in my career, when tasked with a plate load more than I (thought) could manage, it was easy to make excuses, procrastinate, and all the rest. A professor in college told me once: “You can’t eat the entire elephant in one bite”. Simple lesson: set goals that are attainable, and ones that you can both work toward as well as daily ones you can accomplish and cross off.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Our business and product line are built on innovation, affordability, and functionality. We use these three pillars as our touch points whenever we iterate on a product line or create something entirely new. That entails listening to what our customers say about our products and what they’re looking for in future products. We always have our ear to the ground and our finger on the pulse of mainstream cannabis culture, while also using that data to (hopefully) keep one step ahead of what’s to come.
What’s one trend that excites you?
While more mainstream today than ever before, entrepreneurs in the cannabis space face a myriad of barriers and challenges. From banking, vendor relationships, advertising restrictions, to legislation – entrepreneurs in this space have had to be creative in order to thrive. If you can make it in the cannabis space, every other space seems like a piece of cake. Today we’re seeing shifts toward wider acceptance and in some cases barriers are coming down. For example, California just passed legislation to create state-chartered cannabis banks. Federal bills in the mix to hopefully soon follow.
As always, a lot of work to be done!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am not afraid to make mistakes. This has allowed me to use what some would call “failures” as true catalysts to the building of my character and businesses. Accepting the things we can control and letting the rest flow around us is a central mindset I practice each day like I would any other good habit. Resilience is something that needs to be watered daily.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If you have an idea, just run with it. Entrepreneurship is a journey and the more reps you have under your belt, whether success or failure, the more creative and adaptable you’ll be in the future. That said, I would most certainly remind myself to be patient. That is most certainly a virtue.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I think we’ll see an explosion in artisan cannabis products in the market as things move even more mainstream. It’ll be similar to what we’ve seen in the craft beer industry. Whether it’s events, products, or accessories – quality producers and innovators will dominate the space if they’re given a fair shake at marketing their products and running their businesses.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
The best entrepreneurs solve problems. Travel as much as you can. You can’t be an armchair entrepreneur. You have to go out and see the world in order to understand your market and the business you’re in (or the business you may find yourself in). That means meeting people, become a local far from home, see how others live, eat, use transportation, etc. To me this is the essence of solving problems, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Partnering up with influencers has helped us grow. We got a crash course on brand awareness and the power of influencer marketing when our product, The Martian™, went viral in a NowThisNews video. The video got more than 10 million views in two weeks and we were not expecting the massive flood of orders. I was on the phone with my glassmaker everyday trying to increase our order and renegotiate the pricing.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One of the first suppliers I partnered with for CNC aluminium parts totally burned me for a hefty chunk of change. Never a failure, but certainly a lesson learned, NEVER award your project to the lowest bidder. See Murphy’s Law. Especially so when doing business overseas, understand the local laws when it comes to information sharing, circumventions, and non-disclosures. In many places your standard NDA will carry no weight.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
For the cannabis space, I’d like to see a pre-rolled mini blunt company. I think there’s a lot of opportunity there. In the non-cannabis space, it’d be interesting to see what can be done with a scooter company centering around personal transportation. I sourced scooters directly in China and use mine to commute every day.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
My Spotify subscription. I can’t stand having an ad interrupt my day. It’s like having a mascot barge into your house.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Hard to pick one. Trello, Slack, iCalendar are all dailies for me.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Cannabis Manifesto by Steve DeAngelo is all about wellness and healing through cannabis. It’s a pretty interesting read if you’re new to the benefits of cannabis.
What is your favorite quote?
I have a few favorite quotes:
“The mind is like a parachute. It must be open to work.” – Unknown
“Reality should inform but not constrain.” – DaVinci
“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.” – Picasso
- Use small, bite-size goals to get to the finish line.
- Innovation, affordability, and functionality are solid bases to start from when determining how you want to market your product and build a business.
- Partner with influencers for organic growth.
- Take an active role in seeing how your product gets built so you can speak to every part of the process.
- Building a business can be difficult, so don’t forget to de-stress any way you can. Music is a great de-stresser.