Pot Pocket

Not that cannabis needs a lot of help in the fun department, but accessories can certainly make people enjoy the product more. Jo-Ann Bellanti, the president of The Johnny Road King Company, made a product in honor of her younger sister Carol. When a nurse from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute saw it, she was fascinated by it. That’s when it all came to be, when they had their “eureka” moment and realized that this could really turn out to be a great business model.

Jo-Ann has been working with a travel-management company for over 30 years. She prides herself on being a dedicated and creative stoner. She started making Pot Pockets three years ago after having lost Carol to cancer. She had been very close with her sister and had been working alongside her in the same travel company. Suffice it to say, Carol was one of her favorite people in the world, and she dedicated this product to her.

Although Jo-Ann and her sister had traditional jobs, making Pot Pockets was a side gig for them, one that they enjoyed immensely. Pot Pockets has now flourished into a full-time gig. With the help of Jo-Ann’s husband and some of their dedicated and adoring friends, they slowly began making the templates and jigs that enabled them to produce Pot Pockets in their barn, which became their headquarters. They came across a few bumps in the road, some trials and errors, and with a little luck and a lot of hard work they were well on their way.

The various types of wood that are used to make the Pot Pockets are sourced from different areas and outlets. With a CNC machine bought just this year, they have slowly automated the routing and the drilling of the holes for the elastic. The rest is still lovingly done by hand, including the hot branding that has since become their classic logo and trademark.

The Johnny Road King Company signed up for the first-ever New England Cannabis Convention in Boston back in 2015. There were no dispensaries in Massachusetts yet, and everything about Cannabis was still a bit of a gray area. They all thought that they were going to be arrested for selling their goods, but things have panned out well so far. After the first 300 products were sold, they remained a hit!

They had a lot of struggles in setting the company up because although the products were made mainly from wood, they were still technically considered paraphernalia. Jo-Ann couldn’t set up an official bank account using the name Pot Pockets because federal law wouldn’t allow it. So, they proceeded to open an account under the name Johnny Road King Company, since Jo-Ann and her husband are avid motorcycle enthusiasts.

The trademarking process was a long and expensive one. The company was denied federal registration of its trademark right off the bat, because the product included the term “Pot.” They went back and forth for over two years until they were finally registered and officially approved in July 2018. They got around the restrictions by declaring that the word “POT” in the name stood for “Personal Organization Tool,” and they had to make some adjustments on their website to mention that the product can be used for rolled cigarettes as well.

Pot Pockets come in three sizes: regular, large and phat. All sizes sell for $20 a piece online. The reason why they all sell for the same price is that Jo’s husband insists on it. He has had firsthand frustration with always paying extra for a larger-sized T-shirt, and they jointly decided that they would not discriminate based on size.  

Pot Pockets are all about giving clients a discreet way to carry their rolled joints and blunts. “Roll, load, and go!” as they would fondly say. The product was first geared toward medicinal use for patients, but they also want the everyday stoner to have the advantage and relish of using the product as well. The nicest part about the product is that a lit joint can be placed in one of the separate chambers and can be closed without ruining it. It’s a nice way to keep track of half-smoked joints. It enables to the client to save money in the long run by ensuring that no joint or blunt goes without being consumed fully.

The company is what Jo-Ann and her husband hold dear. They want to keep the fun in cannabis and make the most of their products. They believe in equality for all sizes and for all users. And more importantly, they want to share their love for the plant with others.

For more information, visit potpockets.us .


Emerald contributor since March 2012


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