To celebrate 4/20 last month, New Jersey narcotics agents’ least favorite restaurateur, Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion, changed the name of his pot-themed café in downtown Trenton to Weedbukx. For the rebrand, the inside of the old spot, which was previously called NJ Weedman’s Joint, was made to look more like a marijuana grow room, and the window got a new logo — a pretty massive drawing of Forchion as a siren smoking weed inside of a green circle.
Plenty of people probably thought it looked like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Starbucks’s legal counsel at least sure did, which is why the chain sent Forchion and his partner Debi Madaio a cease-and-desist, telling them the name and logo had to go. As it happens, Forchion is now in jail — police arrested him last month in a raid he streamed on Facebook Live — so Madaio handles the day-to-day operations at Weedbukx by herself. She posted the letter from Starbucks’s headquarters yesterday on Facebook:
“We recently received reports that one of your properties displays … signage identifying your establishment as ‘Weedbukx,’” it reads, before adding: “We trust that you will take care of having this problematic signage removed.” Underneath, Madaio writes, “I just wish Ed was home so could have enjoyed this.” She explains it was a publicity stunt he’d wanted to do for years, back since his time living in California. It took Starbucks several days to threaten legal action, which is impressive, given people like Snoop Dogg were promoting it, so Madaio feels they got their money’s worth. The restaurant has already taken the logo down, though — or rather, she says, “[W]e moved it inside.”