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The court has found this newsletter does not exist...
Also bad grass at the Super Bowl
RAW is a fraud
My inspiration for this newsletter is Matt Levine’s Money Stuff, where he talks quite a bit about financial fraud.1 And if Matt Levine was a stoner, I think he would certainly be interested in the bombshell story last week about the injunction obtained by Republic Brands, maker of OCB rolling papers, against HBI International, maker of RAW rolling papers. Basically, HBI has been marketing the RAW brand with a whole host of false claims and deceptive practices, and now the court has ordered them to stop.
There is a long list of fraudulent claims that the company has to stop making. The highlights include that RAW papers are “unrefined,” are the “world's first or world's only organic (or organic hemp) rolling papers,” are made by artisans in Alcoy Spain, and that “HBI or Joshua Kesselman invented rolling paper pre-rolled cones.”
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But the jaw-dropping revelation of fraud is the following:
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 because in its December 6, 2022 ruling, the Court found that no such foundation even existed despite HBI's prior promotional claims.
Wow! I have a RAW clipper lighter in front of me that says ‘Thanks to You, The RAW Foundation has saved tens of thousands of lives.’ Can you believe the audacity? The foundation doesn’t even exist!
Prior to this announcement, RAW was estimated to have as much as a third of the US market and $100 million in revenue.2 The logo is ubiquitous in smoke shops, on everything from giant inflatable joints to rolling trays, and they are even the inspiration for a Wiz Khalifa song. What’s going to happen now?
The brand’s website is currently down for maintenance — convenient! — and there does not seem to be a statement from HBI at this time. But there is this profile of founder Josh Kesselman from 2018, where, among other things, he claims that he owns a “vegan” Ferrari (the seats are apparently microfiber instead of leather??) and that his best friend told him he was an ‘idiot’ for putting the word ‘vegan’ on their packaging. Maybe he should have listened!
Whenever more does come out, it’s sure to be a doozy — I have a feeling we’ll be following this story closely.
Bad grass at the Super Bowl
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35 to win the Super Bowl yesterday. And while I, a Giants, fan, can’t complain with the result, there are plenty of reports out of Arizona about bad grass.
No, not that grass.
We’ll be on the lookout for data on how dispensaries in Arizona — where adult recreational is legal — fared over the weekend, as they geared up for the big game with promotions and events.
The parent company also owns other popular brands, like Elements.