With all things cannabis taking over popular culture and conversation, King Robert Edward Forchion III, the 25-year-old CEO and owner of The Joint of Miami, is steady gaining high ground in Miami’s art and club scene. The ‘budding’ young boss oversees a staff of like-minded employees who are working to enhance entertainment in Miami and infuse the art scene and nightlife with the sweet nostalgia of Mary Jane. King is one of the youngest hip hop “canna-preneur” club owners in the nightlife industry. His The Joint of Miami establishment, located in the popular Wynwood district, is a hip hop art and music lounge, that has been dubbed the “Rap Venue Miami Didn’t Know It Needed!”
As the first cannabis themed art and music lounge in Wynwood, the location boasts the work of visual artists from across the country as well as local Miami talent, all featured in the venue’s indoor and outdoor gallery. Nightly entertainment runs the gamut of comedy, spoken word, reggae, hip hop, jazz and even a Grateful Dead cover band. With a full bar and a ‘munchie’ food truck on site, the venue is set up as an oasis for cannabis lovers.
Cannabis is a family tradition for King Forchion. As the only son of controversial cannabis activist and entrepreneur, Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion, King and his four sisters, Chanel, Ajanea, Daeja, and Vanessa, are considered by many to be the “Kardashians of Kush.” The sisters are all busy holding down the day-to-day operations at their NJWeedman’s Joint, dispensary and restaurant in New Jersey, while King oversees The Joint of Miami lounge and club in Florida alongside his cousin and co-CEO, Essence Vivian Self.
King was a star football player in high school. He studied film production and communications while in high school and attended Kean University, studying business management while continuing his football career. He graduated from Orleans Technical School where he studied carpentry and received Osha-10 and Hilti certifications, later working in the carpentry field.
King Forchion, a Pemberton Township, New Jersey native, is excited about his relocation to the sunny shores of Miami, Florida. He brings a wealth of talent and perseverance to his reign over The Joint of Miami as he, his family and team blow up Miami nightlife in smoke!
Can you tell us more about yourself and your journey in becoming the owner of The Joint of Miami?
I’m from a small town in South New Jersey called Browns Mills. It’s located in Burlington County near Fort Dix and McGuire Air Force base. I played sports, especially football, in high school. I spent two years at Kean University studying business. I was working in our New Jersey family cannabis business before taking over the Florida division.
How did your background in film production, communications, and business management contribute to your role as a CEO in the cannabis-themed nightlife industry?
I really don’t have any formal background in film, or communications yet but both have been passions of mine that I’ve been developing more so here in Miami. I’m working on some film work and a web series now. My family has a couple of businesses, a restaurant and a cannabis dispensary in Trenton, New Jersey that I worked at prior to moving to Miami to run The Joint of Miami two years ago. I’ve learned hands on with on the job training.
What inspired the concept of The Joint of Miami, and how did you decide to create the first cannabis-themed art and music lounge?
My father is Edward Forchion, a nationally known cannabis activist, so his influence was major. It really was his idea, but I agreed with it. Our reasoning was cannabis has become socially acceptable and millions of people consume it. Miami is a tourist town and those same millions travel here and seek cannabis and venues that are accepting of them. We came up with the name The Joint of Miami solely to attract the attention of these tourist cannabis consumers.
Can you elaborate on the variety of entertainment offered at The Joint of Miami, from comedy and spoken word to reggae and jazz?
We have had all kinds of events over the last 2 1/2 years. From old school Hip Hop legendary artists like KRS-1 and rap female artist, Rah Digga to successful comedy events and spoken word / poetry events. In the future we plan on expanding on these types of events.
Our reggae events went very well as well. We had several members of the Marley family, the ultimate first family of reggae, performing and hosting with Yohan Marley who was a resident for a few months at our venue. In our future we have Friday reggae night and Sunday daytime parties with jazz planned.
Growing up in a family deeply involved in the cannabis industry, how has this influenced your perspective on the business, and what lessons have you learned from working with your father and siblings?
Working with my dad has been very influential. He is regarded as a pioneer, a legend in the cannabis world. When I was a kid, he was still going through his battles and was regarded as a crazy nut because cannabis was not legalized. I’ve watched him go from NUT to legendary innovative thinker. That has been eye opening. I have four sisters that work in our New Jersey businesses and we affectionately call ourselves the Kardashians of Kush. I’m loving the family business and how high we expect our business to grow.
As a relatively young CEO, what challenges have you faced in leading The Joint of Miami, and how have these experiences shaped you in your twenties?
At first, I had my own age-related inhibitions. I found it hard to order older employees to do things. Some of these employees were my parent’s age and I was raised to be respectful to elders. Over the last two years that has been a major aspect of my growth. I have learned to be the boss and do what I needed to do to get the job done no matter what subordinate I needed to order to do it.
As an owner/artist I’m also in a kind of a unique situation. As the owner of the club, I can get on stage whenever I want too and likewise, I also have the power to put anyone on my stage – it’s a truly subtle yet powerful situation as a young artist myself. I’m booking artists from all over the country to perform and/or make music videos at The Joint of Miami, and sometimes I really just have to pinch myself because it really feels like a dream.
Right now, though, the biggest challenge is getting over this growing hump. We’ve seemed to hit a plateau. We’ve had our share of success, but the last few months have been rough and I’m now looking for a partner in this industry, or preferably an investor. A couple of A-list celebrities in the music industry have shown interest but so far, it’s still me and my family.
How do you balance your work as a CEO with your passions for music and production?
To be honest, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the studio. Ultimately, I want to build a studio in the club but having my own club and stage is awesome. Very few of my contemporaries have this advantage.
How do you perceive the cultural and business differences between the cannabis scenes in New Jersey, your former home state, and Miami?
Well Miami itself is very liberal, like New Jersey which legalized cannabis a couple of years ago. The NJ businesses are thriving because of the new liberal legalization laws. Florida the state still hasn’t legalized it and when I travel north of Fort Lauderdale, I have to remember I’m in the south and this isn’t legal, and I could end up in a hot Florida jail! Yet in Miami we have a club called The Joint of Miami and tourist potheads flock to us when they google cannabis and are looking for a place to party.
What are your future plans for The Joint of Miami, and how do you envision the future of cannabis-themed entertainment in Miami’s nightlife?
My plan is to link up with some heavy hitters in the music industry and turn The Joint of Miami into the premiere club in Wynwood. I want people, when they think of clubs in Miami, to put us in the same breath as LIV, 11, Mr. Jones, Club Exchange and sadly STORY. As South Beach and the Barrier Island towns crack down on the rowdy tourist night scene, Wynwood is wide open, and we welcome the tourist crowd. We want to be the destination night club in Wynwood.
Are there any upcoming projects or expansions you would like to share with your audience?
Yes – we’ve obtained the warehouse next door (2014 NW Miami Ct.) to develop and incorporate into our existing club at 2010/2012 NW Miami Ct. We are calling it Stage 3. When we develop Stage 3, we will be that pinnacle premiere nightclub in Miami.
How is a day in your life?
I’m in Miami bitch – lol! It’s an awesome life. Sure, I have struggles and stresses, but the weather is awesome. I’m living next to the water and palm trees are everywhere. I’ve met a beautiful young lady “Mel,” she’s my girlfriend and I never would have met her had I not come to Miami.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I can’t tell you or everyone will then know!! I like keeping a lot of me personal to myself or only revealing it to those close to me.
Choose two of your favorite quotes and write them here.
“Figure it out” and “Never quit.”
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world, what would it be?
Well, if I had the power I’d end “death”. I’d make it so nobody died. But then I’d be more powerful than “God” because even his own son died. Realistically I wish I could end hunger…people go to sleep starving and with all the food this world produces that just shouldn’t happen.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes — you know anyone who wants to be a partner in this Wynwood club??? Wynwood is becoming the entertainment district in Miami. Where we are in Miami will soon be the center of the district and we are there now — just needing to be developed, maintain longevity, and grow. If anyone is interested, contact me at The Joint of Miami!
THE JOINT of MIAMI
NJWEEDMAN’S JOINT of TRENTON