Cannabis cultivation manufacturing license holder MoJo Botanica has launched a cannabis crowdfunding campaign as they are poised for success.
“We are excited to launch this crowdfunding campaign. Our mission is to promote cannabis as a source of happiness, inspiration, and holistic wellness,” MoJo Botanica Founder and CEO Tanmoy “TJ” Jadhav said.
They are a New Jersey-based Minority Owned Business (MBE) taking a community-centric approach to Craft Cannabis cultivation and manufacturing.
The MoJo crowdfunding campaign democratizes access to equity in an emerging market that would normally only be available to those with access to capital or insider knowledge.
“I want to provide a unique opportunity for regular individuals to invest in the cannabis industry,” TJ said. “We want to open up this opportunity to be part of this industry, to be part of this pioneering venture.”
Cannabis Crowdfunding Plan
MoJo Botanica is working with a third-party cannabis crowdfunding platform to raise money.
TJ believes the crowdfunding campaign will create a community of investors around the brand and generate brand awareness.
There are few ways for people to invest in the cannabis industry he noted. The main way would be buying shares of a cannabis corporation that is a Multi-State Operator (MSO) on the Canadian stock exchange.
People could invest at three tier levels for $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000. Accredited investors can put in more money.
At the $1,000 level, you get a gift bag with MoJo Botanica merchandise.
For $2,500, you get a $250 gift card for their dispensary partners and a gift bag.
At the $5,000 level, you get exclusive invites to company events, a $500 gift card, and a gift bag.
Crowdfunding investors will have shares of stock that should generate a 12 percent interest over three years.
“It’s not just financial incentives. You’re part of something,” TJ explained.
Five percent of the company in total is up for sale.
MoJo Botanica must raise a minimum of $50,000 to access any money. Their goal is $250,000. They can raise a maximum of $1 million via cannabis crowdfunding. Their total build-out cost is $2 million dollars.
To make their vision a reality, the founders have invested $500,000 of their own money to bootstrap the business.
TJ noted how hard it is to raise money.
“I’ve been fundraising for a year now,” he lamented.
TJ noted high-interest rates and economic worries make it difficult.
“People are wary of the industry in general,” he added.
TJ explained issues with the price of cannabis bottoming out in other states scare investors too.
Some license holders are worried that New Jersey cannabis could go from astronomically high for ten years and counting to far too low for them.
He noted many are having legitimate trouble raising money. It hinders jumping over the other major hurdles of town approval and real estate.
Poised for Success
The NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission (NJCRC) awarded MoJo Botanica cannabis adult-use cultivation and manufacturing licenses last October.
They have also successfully secured real estate and are working to obtain municipal approval. TJ is confident the city of Elizabeth will approve them this spring, allowing them to open.
“Elizabeth has been very welcoming,” he explained.
TJ noted he researched many towns and met officials in eight towns before deciding on Elizabeth.
MoJo Botanica Backstory
Three New Jerseyans founded MoJo Botanica: TJ, KB Singh, and Ankur Patel. They have over 50 years of executive and entrepreneurial experience. It should help them succeed in the tumultuous cannabis industry.
After climbing the corporate ladder for several years, TJ became a serial entrepreneur in the wake of COVID. He first opened the “Chutzpah Kitchen” restaurant with a Jewish partner, where they specialize in selling Israeli/Mediterranean food.
“Chutzpah” is a Yiddish word used by Jewish people meaning audacity or moxie.
TJ lives in Maplewood in Essex County, where MoJo Botanica held its community event last year, which included an expungement clinic.
Socially Responsible Cannabis Company Goals
MoJo aspires to become the gold standard for how a cannabis company should operate by being the change it wishes to see in the industry.
They want to facilitate community development, raise socially responsible company standards, and never compromise on product quality or consumer safety.
MoJo Botanica is pledging two percent of its annual revenue to investments in the community through partnerships with respected non-profits and towns. They plan to partner with organizations focused on expungement, workforce development, and addiction recovery support.
They prioritize sustainable business practices, empowering informed, responsible adult consumption, and de–stigmatizing the plant.
“We’re going to have the highest quality products. Many people say that. But not many can do it,” TJ said.
Cannabis Company Incubator Plan
Along with its cultivation and manufacturing arms, MoJo Botanica seeks to operate a business incubator to help start-up companies.
TJ is pessimistic about the approximately 900 New Jersey adult-use conditional license holders’ chances of success. Due to money and real estate issues, he believes less than 10 percent will be able to open.
Thus, he spoke well of crowdfunding.
A lot of struggling New Jersey cannabis companies need capital. Many cannabis businesspeople and advocates are questioning the State’s commitment to social justice in the launch of the New Jersey adult-use cannabis industry if many fail.
The NJ Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) is partnering with the NJCRC to offer grants to cannabis companies soon. Unfortunately, the program rollout is slow.
A few companies have sought to develop New Jersey-based cannabis company incubators to address access to capital.
“We want to create an ecosystem that works together to shape the industry, empower ownership, and drive positive change,” TJ added.
They plan to foster an inclusive cannabis ecosystem through collaboration.
“We know how hard it is to get a license in this industry,” he noted. “We are helping diversity-owned, Black-owned, women-owned businesses … to realize their dream.”
TJ explained he has worked with tech industry incubators in the past.
“The incubator leverages our expertise, resources, and network,” TJ declared. “I want to help budding cannabis entrepreneurs build something in the industry.”
Companies would be part of an equity-sharing deal whereby they would receive assistance in exchange for stock.