In a press release on February 9, 2023, by PRNewswire, breaking news announced that a federal lawsuit against HBI International, the distributor of RAW® rolling paper, is ordered to terminate making multiple false claims about its RAW® Organic Hemp Rolling Papers.
Republic brands, a leading manufacturer of rolling papers, filed an injunction against HBI International on January 31, 2023, for multiple false claims being used in their marketing for RAW® rolling papers.
The founder of RAW®, Joshua Kesselman, reported in an interview in 2022 that RAW® papers were crafted in Alcoy, Spain. Using this as a marketing strategy that, Alcoy, Spain was the “birthplace of rolling papers.” It was later released on January 19, 2023, that “HBI International makes no rolling paper in Alcoy, Spain whatsoever.”
In addition to the above false claim, the company also made packaging claims that it contributed to and funded a 501(c) charitable foundation known as the “RAW foundation.” However, on December 6, 2022, the courts ruled that the company’s “RAW Foundation” was non-existent. HBI has since been ordered to cease making those claims.
Federal Court Rulings
The federal order permanently forbids the following claims to be made:
- 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 world’s 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; and
- 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.