What’s Going on with Raw Rolling Papers?
What is going on with RAW? The Decline of an Iconic brand?
If you’re a stoner like me, you’re probably very familiar with RAW papers. It’s the quintessential stoner item and for many, you’d think that the brand would share your values. Stoners tend to be peace-loving, nature loving folk who enjoy connection and truth – and weed.
Except, RAW isn’t what you think it is.
In this article, we’re going to examine the latest injunction their parent company received from another brand of rolling papers who are practicing “organic” practices.
HBI International (the parent company) must stop making claims about its RAW Organic Hemp rolling papers after Republic Brands won a permanent injunction against the company in a federal lawsuit.
The Northern District of Illinois U.S. District Court permanently restrained HBI from making specific claims about its products on January 31, 2023, and ordered HBI to “immediately” stop producing, ordering, and restocking its inventory with products that do not comply with the court’s order. A jury found that HBI, the distributor of the rolling paper brands RAW, Elements, Juicy Jays, Pay-Pay, and Skunk, engaged in unfair competition and broke the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act through its packaging and promotional efforts. This led to the injunction decision.
Because the court determined in its Dec. 6, 2022 ruling that no such foundation existed despite HBI’s prior promotional claims, the court enjoined HBI from continuing to state, imply or suggest that it operates or contributes funds or sales proceeds to a charitable entity or foundation referred to as the “RAW Foundation” or making reference to the “RAW Foundation” in text or images.
Additionally, HBI has promoted its papers as being created by artisanal workers in “Alcoy, Spain” for more than ten years and has referred to Alcoy as the “birthplace of rolling papers.” HBI allegedly received the “Spanish Alcoy Paper Blessing” for its RAW sheets, and some of its goods have the “Alcoy stamp.”
However, the court determined in a judgment dated January 19, 2023 that “HBI creates no rolling paper in Alcoy, Spain whatsoever.” The court prohibited HBI from saying or implying that their RAW Organic Hemp booklets or cones are created in Alcoy in its order for a permanent injunction. It further ruled that “HBI shall not use on its packaging a’stamp’ involving the use of the word Alcoy or referring to Alcoy.”
The order permanently prohibits HBI and its personnel from making any statement or communication, or engaging in any promotion or advertising activity that states, implies or suggests:
That HBI and/or RAW operates or contributes its funds or sales proceeds to a charitable entity or foundation of any kind referred to as the “RAW Foundation” or making reference to the “RAW Foundation” in text or images
That RAW Organic Hemp rolling papers are “unrefined”
That RAW Organic Hemp rolling papers are made with natural hemp gum, or that the adhesive used in RAW Organic Hemp rolling papers is made from or contains hemp
That RAW Organic Hemp rolling papers are, or ever were, the world’s first or only organic (or organic hemp) rolling papers
That RAW Organic Hemp rolling paper booklets are made in Alcoy, Spain
That RAW Organic Hemp pre-rolled rolling-paper cones are made in Alcoy, Spain
That the bulk paper (bobbins) used to make RAW Organic Hemp rolling paper products is made in Spain
That RAW Organic Hemp rolling papers are made in Alcoy, Spain, the birthplace of rolling papers
HBI shall not use on its packaging a “stamp,” including the use of the word Alcoy or referring to Alcoy.
That RAW Organic Hemp rolling papers are made using wind power or are powered by wind
That HBI uses or used the center of the hemp stalk for its RAW Organic Hemp rolling papers
That HBI or Joshua Kesselman invented rolling paper pre-rolled cones
That the OCB Organic Hemp papers are knock-offs, “RAWnabees” copies or fake versions of RAW
Untruthful claims and tainted brands…
It’s time for society to wake up and hold these companies accountable for their actions. They may try to hide behind pretty packaging and flashy advertisements, but the truth always comes out in the end.
Take, for instance, the recent case of HBI International. They were caught red-handed, making false claims about their RAW Organic Hemp rolling papers. The court ruled that they were engaging in unfair competition and breaking the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act through their packaging and promotional efforts. The result? A permanent injunction that forced HBI to immediately stop producing, ordering, and restocking their inventory with products that didn’t comply with the court’s order.
The problem with HBI’s false claims isn’t just that they were deceiving customers. It’s that they were using their false “RAW Foundation” to profit off of people’s desire to do good in the world. And their bogus “Spanish Alcoy Paper Blessing” was just another way to trick people into paying more for a product that wasn’t worth it.
And it’s not just HBI that’s guilty of this kind of deception. All over the world, corporations are pulling the wool over our eyes with false claims, misleading advertisements, and hidden agendas. But, we as consumers have the power to fight back. We have the power to say “enough is enough” and demand transparency and honesty from the brands we choose to support.
So, why should society tolerate these deceptive practices? The answer is simple: We shouldn’t. Deception is a violation of our trust and a betrayal of the values that make a just and fair society possible. We deserve to know what we’re buying, how it was made, and who is behind it.
The harsh reality is that we can’t rely on the FDA to protect us. The government regulatory agencies are often caught in the crosshairs of powerful corporations, making it difficult for them to enforce the laws that are meant to keep us safe. So, it’s up to us to take control of the situation and demand more from the brands we buy.
If we want to live in a world where corporations play by the rules and don’t screw us over, we need to take action. We need to demand accountability and transparency. And, most importantly, we need to support companies that are doing it right.
So, the next time you’re at the store, ask yourself: “Do I really want to support a company that’s lying to me?” Remember, keeping corporations accountable is the only way we can make sure they’re not taking advantage of us. It’s time to fight back against deception and make a stand for honesty and integrity.