One of the best parts about writing in the cannabis space is the opportunity to recognize and embrace craftspeople who are entrepreneurs with integrity in their own segment of this uniquely creative field. For many years now, certainly since I visited Venice, Italy, as a boy, I’ve been fascinated by intricate glassblowing. I collect hand-blown glass and have for decades. With the advent of cannabis legalization, I’ve discovered many talented craftspeople who are working in the field of glass art.
Recently, I’ve discovered MJ Arsenal, makers of the original Blunt Bubbler and Joint Bubbler. The MJA team harnesses creativity with detail oriented techniques, many reminiscent of Italy. And the closer I look at the pieces so graciously sent to me for review, I’ve discovered a very ‘Martha’s Vineyard’ approach to the fine smoking collectables that currently rest in my hands. I’m lucky to own such elegant glassware and it’s abundantly clear that great care went into designing each and every sensual curve.
Creative minds certainly shine with MJ Arsenal. Their offerings are so tiny and function so well. And, the use of innovative percolation technology to add a twist to the time honored tradition of smoking joints and blunts is very smart! So perfect! I’m charmed! So, I thought it wise to interview the co-founder Josh Camitta to explore what inspires his inventive designs.
Exciting, isn’t it? The brave new world of glass…No longer are smoking devices plain and simple tools in the cannabis world. They’ve become so much more.
Forbes: Why Glass? Your pieces are so elegant. How do you come up with these innovative designs? What inspires your creativity?
Josh Camitta: Glass is a fascinating medium to explore. As a child, I remember my family visiting local glass blowing studios during summer vacations to Martha’s Vineyard, back in the late ‘90s early 2000s. It was always so fascinating—how someone could seemingly work “within the flames,” taking a piece of raw glass tubing and melting into something magnificent. We are firm believers in form following function—we do our best to be “function-centric” with our designs. The aesthetic of a product can always been dialed in, but, if the intended use of the product falls short, so will the product itself. Our designs end up being “Frankenstein creations,” of sorts. Many of the foundational aesthetics we work with are age old shapes found in our industry. We use these as our canvas, then build out a new user experience from a similar, generally recognizable “shell.” I suppose my creativity is a direct result of my passion for competition. I have a background in athletics and I view product development as my playing field. I want MJA to be at the forefront of cannabis consumer accessories, and it’s this competitive drive that keeps the creative wheels turning.
Forbes: What sets your designs apart from others?
JC: Affordability, functionality, and innovation are the three pillars that help separate MJA from the pack. The cannabis accessory market is crowded with overblown prices and limited functionality. Whether it’s an exorbitant price or a product’s function leaving something to be desired, we see opportunities to provide high quality glass at an incredible value—glass for the masses without sacrificing a thing. We also believe in rapid prototyping which allows us to test our ideas quickly and go through several iterations before we bring a new design to market. Because of this, we’ve been able to push the limits of our creativity while still being able to incorporate unique functional components in each design. Using small tweaks, we’ve discovered clever ways to better filter smoke, keep glass cleaner, and even prevent it from spilling. Lately, we’re exploring more limited edition releases and collaborations with other talented companies in the canna-space. Our most recent launch coincided with a charitable auction for the last two pieces of a limited, two-hundred piece run. We raised $650 for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and we’re excited to partner with them for future philanthropic opportunities.
Forbes: Do you cook? Who taught you? Is there anything you enjoy that brings a tear to your eye when you eat or drink it?
JC: Yes, I love to cook! I was classically taught by the Iron Chefs of yesteryear and my parents. Some of my oldest friends taught my family and I how to make sushi when I was eight years old. It was a hit as my “how-to” speech for every scholastic obligation thereafter.
Forbes: If you could be anywhere in the world right now where would that be?
JC: My first thought was right here in Denver. I absolutely love coming to the office everyday and creating fun and functional products with the MJ Arsenal team. However, in efforts to avoid a cop out, I would say Tokyo. I was able to travel to Japan a couple years ago with my brother and I have been scheming up a way back ever since. The combination of food and culture is just about second to none and the overall respect the Japanese have for one another is unlike anything I have experienced.
Forbes: What does the future look like to you, and for the future of cannabis?
JC: It’s an exciting time to be inhabiting the cannabis eco-space. With the first G7 nation, Canada, legalizing cannabis federally for recreational use, I truly believe this will act as a continued windfall and bell-weather leading the way into global modernization for drug policy reform. Overall, the future is quite a bright one for cannabis. However, I do not want to put the carriage before the horse— there is still much work to be done. I think this past election cycle is the perfect proof that no matter how certain or uncertain an outcome may seem, one must exercise their right and let their voice be heard. The political process may seem ever daunting, but with the proper persistence the sky’s the limit for the cannabis plant.
Josh Camitta is co-founder of MJ Arsenal. A former professional golfer once employed in sales and operations for the world-renown PGA Tour, 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. In 2016, along with a friend, Josh conceived Mary Jane’s Arsenal (MJA), helping source the company’s popular debut product, the Wand. Taking on more leadership responsibilities for MJA, Josh began development of his original Blunt BubblerTM and Joint BubblerTM concepts under the MJA umbrella, selling more than 50,000 units their first year in operation—including patents issued and pending for utility and design. Today, MJA’s line of coveted and collectable original blunt bubble and joint bubblers, alongside their trademarked mini rigs are sold in over 1600 stores across the United States as well as other retail establishments spanning four continents.