It’s been a year since cannabis was legalized for recreational use in New Jersey, and entrepreneurs statewide are intent on capitalizing on the new industry. Among the sharks in the newly built tank are two Rowan students with a plan and a deep curiosity about the world of cannabis.
“THC Go” is a cannabis delivery company that is the brainchild of Rowan University students Jonathan Tecum-Chaves and Kevin Asare. The startup, founded last April, plans to bring cannabis products to consumers’ doorsteps, delivering products from local dispensaries through their app.
Just a few semesters ago, Jonathan and Kevin were strangers to each other, meeting as many college students do, in the leisure of college homes bonding through group smoke sessions. The two connected through Asare’s roommate and quickly built a bond that grew as the pair began to collaborate on separate business ventures of their own.
“Kev would just pull up while I was lining up and we would just chill and talk. Off rip I knew he was talented and doing his thing. At the time he was doing website design and running his own company, so I asked him if he could help my pops do his tree servicing website,” Tecum-Chaves said.
Asare’s work for the tree servicing website was a hit, and sparked an idea for collaboration after the legalization of marijuana last spring.
“It was around April last year when they legalized weed, and I was like ‘yo, it would be fire if we could make an app to help people get their stuff delivered.’ I didn’t even know who to bring it to, but I knew Kev was a dude I should bring it around, you know? We ended up just clicking from there and we made it up to this point,” Tecum-Chaves said.
The newfound business partners found their roles very quickly, as Jonathan operates as the more hands-on networker and face of the pairing while Kevin handles most of the tech-savvy parts of the business.
“I started [designing websites] as a hobby and did it for about two years. I ended up starting my own business, getting an LLC and building my own business model which was what I was living off of for some time before I got into other things like THC,” Asare said.
While the company’s app is in development, New Jersey has not yet outlined the rules regarding cannabis delivery services and licensing. “THC Go” is a company among other applicants waiting for the green light to put their app into play. In the meantime, businesses currently work sub-contractually with local dispensaries around South Jersey. In that time “THC Go” has built a strong relationship with local dispensaries, building up delivery systems that will translate through their app.
To build an audience over the course of the first year, the company has also designed multiple products to increase consumer engagement and build its brand beyond the delivery portion. “THC Go” has released branded items like rolling trays, stickers, and clothing to build a brand identity beyond the function of a delivery service.
“We just tried to brainstorm some things that we thought would be cool for people to have, you know? We wanted to stand out beyond the fact that we do deliveries and be unique for something else. We were just looking around on the internet and found portable rolling trays and thought they were dope. We came up with the first design and it was a hit, and we just kept going with that,” Tecum-Chavez said.
The pair has taken an improvised approach to learning the New Jersey’s ever-shifting cannabis rules.
“It’s like building an airplane while flying it, we’re learning as we go,” Asare said.
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