As the majority owner of NJWeedman’s Joint, the popular cannabis-themed coffeeshop in Trenton, Debi Madaio acknowledges her legacy as a heroic ganja entrepreneur during Women’s History Month.
If longtime marijuana activist Ed Forchion is NJWeedman, his business partner, Madaio, is Trenton, New Jersey’s “First Lady of Weed.”
A registered nurse, cannabis activist, mother of two daughters, and a special needs son, Madaio is the driving force behind NJWeedman’s Joint and NJWeedman himself.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, she has expanded her business with the opening of The Stash Spot, a specialty boutique smoke shop located inside The Joint, and a new “potcast,” “Joint Accounts,” which launched Monday. It will stream every Monday at 3:00 p.m. EST across The Joint’s social media platforms. It will feature the latest happenings around NJWeedman’s Joint.
Madaio had the idea to move her smoke shop items to the restaurant and meet the needs of her cannabis clientele by creating the Stash Spot. They carry cannabis paraphernalia like pipes, rolling papers, cannabis-themed convenience items, knickknacks, and clothing.
With adult-use cannabis finally legal in the state, offering a one-stop-shop for food and supplies is a convenience her customers greatly appreciate.
Located across the street from the Trenton City Hall, The Joint had been operating since 2015 and has garnered national accolades for its contribution to cannabis culture.
Ganja Entrepreneur with NJWeedman’s Joint
Operating a small business while working full time as a nurse and caring for a special needs son has been challenging for Madaio. She has witnessed and survived great trials.
During Women’s History Month of March 2017, NJWeedman’s Joint first came under scrutiny due to an undercover operation and raid that led to Forchion’s arrest and incarceration. Forchion’s arrest garnered him 447 days in prison, leaving Madaio not only fighting for his release but also for the survival of their business.
“While Ed was being held for those 447 days prior to trial under the New Jersey Bail Reform Act, we had to close the business in order to secure it. I basically robbed Peter to pay Paul to make sure the rent was paid,” Madaio said.
NJWeedman’s Joint is once again a thriving Trenton watering hole with visitors from surrounding communities eager to see the gray market dispensary.
“I had made Ed a promise that I would make sure the business and the building were still there when he got out of jail. That was one of his biggest fears, that he would get out of jail and ride by the building where The Joint used to be. I couldn’t and wouldn’t let that happen as Mercer County had taken enough from him already,” she added.
Customers visit from New York, Philadelphia, and worldwide to see the infamous NJWeedman’s place and for their delectable menu inspired by celebrity stoners. Their noteworthy meals include “Snoop’s Dream,” a fish and grits dish; Willie’s Chillie; the Kevin Smith Impossible Burger; the “Pothead Sandwich,” fried fish with a shrimp crab relish and sriracha sauce; the “East Coast Cannabis Coalition,” and a turkey meatball dinner with marinara sauce and spaghetti are all the rage. The garlic butter chicken wings are also very good.
The restaurant’s ambiance, created by Madaio, mirrors a grow room with curtains, tablecloths, and chairs covered with cannabis leaves. There are also live outdoor music performances and shows which are streamed online.
NJWeedman’s Joint was once called ‘the happiest place on earth’ by Extraction Magazine, and Madaio’s mission is to keep those good vibes flowing.
Madaio also started a petition to secure an adult-use dispensary license from the State.