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What’s Going on with Raw Rolling Papers?



raw rolling papers lawsuit injunction

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.





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Cannabis News

Australia Cannabis: Recreational Use Legislation Update




Australia is said to have one of the highest cannabis prevalence rates in the world and public attitudes to its use are shifting. North American, European and other cannabis companies looking for investment opportunities would do well to follow these shifts.

Growing cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes was legalized under federal law in 2016. Low-THC hemp foods were then legalized federally in 2017. Recreational use, though, remains prohibited under federal law. Similarly, at the state and territory level it is mostly illegal to use, possess, grow, and sell cannabis. Despite these continuing prohibitions, there are legislative trends toward legalization.

If passed, the Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 would change the federal landscape. It would legalize cannabis for adult recreational use in Australia. The Bill would establish the Cannabis Australia National Agency as a statutory agency to register cannabis strains and regulate cannabis activities. These activities include growing and possessing plants, manufacturing and selling cannabis products, operating cannabis cafes, and importing and exporting cannabis products.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee is presently conducting an inquiry into the Bill. Submissions have now closed and public hearings have opened. The Committee’s reporting date is May 31, 2024. The Bill is expected to be debated in federal parliament later this year. At the same time, cannabis legalization bills are now being debated in several Australian states.

Despite shifting public attitudes, federal legalization may still be a way off. While the federal Bill has been promoted by a minority party, it does not enjoy the support of the ruling party or the major opposition party. It also lacks the support of the Australian Medical Association.

Stay tuned for updates on Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 and all thing Australian cannabis. And please reach out to us if you are interested in doing business in Australia.

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Why Is Everyone Suddenly Eating Magic Mushrooms and Having Wild Sex?




magic mushrooms and sex

New Study Reveals That Magic Mushroom Consumers Have Better Sex Lives

Magic mushrooms have been on a heyday, thanks to the numerous health and therapeutic benefits it has been proven to offer. These include, but are not limited to: treating anxiety and depression, PTSD, OC, suicidal thoughts, and other mental illnesses.

However, we’re only starting to discover the myriad of benefits that the humble magic mushroom has. Now, there’s even new science suggesting that psilocybin can help improve sex lives.


In what is believed to be the first-ever study to delve deeper into the connections between sex and arousal with magic mushrooms, researchers have discovered fascinating findings. Investigators at the Imperial College London surveyed almost 300 individuals before and after taking magic mushrooms. They focused on two subject groups: individuals who consumed psychedelics for recreation or wellness, and those who were consuming it for clinical study purposes to analyze its impacts on depression. Thanks to the data, they were able to pull incredible insight into the link between sex and psychedelic experiences.

The data shows that on average, there are improvements on several areas pertaining to sexual function for as long as 6 months after psychedelic experiences. Psychedelic consumption has been shown to positively impact arousal, sexual satisfaction, enjoyment, self-esteem, connection, communication, and attraction to one’s partner – all of which contribute to better sex lives. For the group who were taking magic mushrooms as part of a clinical trial for depression, nearly half experienced improvements when it came to interest in sex, satisfaction, and arousal. In contrast, individuals who are treated with popular pharmaceutical antidepressants usually say that their sex lives are negatively impacted.


“We believe this is the first scientific study to explore the effects of psychedelics on sexual functioning. Our findings suggest potential implications for conditions that negatively affect sexual health, including clinical depression and anxiety,” said Tomasso Barba, the study’s first author, and a PhD candidate at the Centre for Psychedelic Research.


“This is particularly significant given that sexual dysfunction, often induced by antidepressants, frequently results in people stopping these medications and subsequently relapsing,” they added.  

In addition, it’s nothing short of fascinating that the results showed that the improvements in sexual function were observed for up to 6 months among some participants. However, it’s important to note they didn’t study performance while high on the drug, which is how many people on psychedelics experiment with sex: while on magic mushrooms.


“It’s important to stress our work does not focus on what happens to sexual functioning while people are on psychedelics, and we are not talking about perceived ‘sexual performance’,   they emphasized.


They do call for more studies on the subject. “While the findings are indeed interesting, we are still far from a clear clinical application, because psychedelics are yet to be integrated into the medical system. In future, we may be able to see a clinical application, but more research is needed,” said Dr. David Erritzoe.


Can Psychedelics Unlock The Key To Better, More Satisfying Sex?

As millions of us are plagued by mental health disorders, ranging from everyday anxiety to more severe depression, our sex lives will naturally suffer.

It is known that for many of us, especially women, mental health is critical to sexual satisfaction and pleasure. Sure, it’s an integral part of being human – experiencing sexual joy and arousal, but when we’re suffering from hard-to-treat mental conditions, it can be difficult to enjoy sex. Perhaps that’s where the potential of psychedelics, such as magic mushrooms, come in.


When one is struggling with family conditioning, previous traumas, depression, and self-acceptance, pleasure can be shameful and even painful to even address. But psychedelics can help open us up mentally, and challenge past thoughts that have to do with social conditioning, receiving love and pleasure. All in all, psychedelics can help create new mental pathways that make it easier for us to receive pleasure.


These days, it’s no longer uncommon for couples to medicate with psychedelics together. And we don’t just mean magic mushrooms: MDMA, LSD, and ayahuasca are other forms of healing psychedelics that can help couples work through their own traumas and issues together, and as a result, enjoy better sex.


In another study from 2021, researchers utilized interviews to conduct a qualitative study to understand the impact of microdosing MDMA on male and female couples whose ages ranged from 20 to 35 years old. The interview questions were focused on how microdosing psychedelics affected their sexuality, confidence, relationship satisfaction, inhibition, and openness.

The participants reported that microdosing did indeed have a positive effect on sexual well-being as well as other aspects, most especially because of its ability to reduce anxiety and stress. As a result, they experienced heightened sexual pleasure, desire, and communication. Overall, they reported better sex and they attributed it to microdosing.




Aside from these studies, psychedelics are already an accepted tool for young people all around the world to help them improve many aspects of their lives, including sex. It is becoming clear that the ability of psychedelics to help where pharmaceutical medications fail in treating everyday mental illnesses and stress that hinder sex lives, can transform how we relate, show up, and communicate in our intimate relationships. We hope to see more studies on the subject so we can learn more about the specifics involved, and the magic that psychedelics brings into human lives.





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How Can Cops Tell the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?




police test for hemp or cannabis

Researchers funded by the federal government have unveiled novel techniques for distinguishing between marijuana and hemp by precisely measuring the THC levels in both flowers and edibles.


The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), a branch of the Justice Department, is championing the findings from two research endeavors it sponsored, focusing on refining cannabis lab testing. These findings are being disseminated to specific law enforcement agencies.


The primary goal of these projects was to streamline testing procedures to address the increasing backlog in crime labs, exacerbated by the federal legalization of hemp with THC levels of up to 0.3 percent under the 2018 Farm Bill. This legalization has complicated cannabis-related cases.


According to a recent update by NIJ, existing testing methods fall short of accurately quantifying THC levels in samples. However, the researchers supported by NIJ have made a breakthrough by utilizing two distinct forms of mass spectrometry—gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and direct analysis in real time-high-resolution mass spectrometry (DART-HRMS)—to isolate THC content, along with other cannabinoids.


Pioneering Techniques


The GC-MS methodology was pioneered by a team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), enabling them to extract THC from samples and conduct precise cannabinoid content analysis. The Department of Justice (DOJ) initially disclosed in 2020 its allocation of $350,000 in funding to NIST for this research endeavor.


Conversely, the DART-HRMS approach presents a solution to another complexity in cannabis testing encountered in forensic laboratories. This method facilitated the determination of THC levels in various products such as baked goods, candies, beverages, and plant materials with minimal pre-treatment requirements.


Rabi Musah, the primary researcher on the DART-HRMS team, envisions that the accelerated utilization of DART-HRMS for THC detection in cannabis samples could mitigate testing backlogs, reduce chemical reagent expenses, and streamline analysis protocols, as noted by NIJ.


NIST’s GC-MS technique has already catalyzed the development of new standard operating procedures for laboratories, with outcomes integrated into training procedures for law enforcement entities like the Montgomery County Police Department and Maryland State Police.


Furthermore, in 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a call for portable marijuana analyzers to expedite cannabinoid profile identification and aid in differentiating between marijuana and hemp.


In a separate initiative, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced in 2019 its pursuit of a device capable of distinguishing between hemp and marijuana, particularly since the legalization of the former crop.


The ramifications of hemp legalization became evident in Texas, where marijuana possession arrests decreased by nearly 30% from 2018 to 2019 after the state legalized the non-intoxicating cannabis crop. Subsequently, prosecutors in Texas dismissed numerous low-level cannabis cases following hemp legalization. In 2020, officials announced that laboratories would no longer conduct testing in misdemeanor cases, citing capacity limitations within the Department of Public Safety.


Meanwhile, stakeholders in the hemp industry and agricultural officials nationwide are urging Congress to increase the THC limit for hemp to one percent by dry weight. A researcher from the Department of Justice recently questioned the rationale behind the current 0.3 percent THC limit, suggesting it was arbitrarily based on a decades-old anecdote.


Advancements in Law Enforcement Procedures


The integration of novel testing methods heralds a significant shift in law enforcement strategies concerning cannabis-related cases. Crime lab forensic studies have advanced to a new level of paradigm with the use of the DART-HRMS method and the GC-MS technology developed by NIST. Law enforcement officers will be able to distinguish between marijuana and hemp with remarkable accuracy thanks to these state-of-the-art approaches, which promise increased precision and efficiency. By integrating these advanced technologies into routines for standard operating procedures and training, law enforcement organizations are providing their staff with the necessary resources to handle the complex terrain of changing cannabis laws.


This revolutionary method improves the ability to conduct investigations and makes it easier to comply with state and federal laws on cannabis. Law enforcement organizations may ensure compliance with the ever-changing legal framework pertaining to cannabis cultivation, distribution, and use while efficiently upholding justice with the use of these cutting-edge tactics. Officers will be better prepared to handle the issues raised by the legalization of cannabis and its effects on law enforcement procedures as they become used to these innovative techniques.


Legal and Regulatory Implications of Hemp Legalization


The legalization of hemp with THC levels of up to 0.3 percent under the 2018 Farm Bill has sparked significant legal and regulatory ramifications. This legislative shift has not only complicated cannabis-related cases but has also necessitated a reevaluation of existing law enforcement protocols. As prosecutors and law enforcement officials grapple with the distinction between marijuana and hemp, the landscape of criminal justice procedures undergoes notable evolution. The dismissal of numerous low-level cannabis cases in states like Texas following hemp legalization underscores the profound impact of this legislative change on law enforcement practices.


Furthermore, the proposal to raise hemp’s THC limitations to 1% of dry weight is indicative of continuing discussions about federal cannabis legislation. The debate over THC restrictions highlights the necessity for a nuanced approach to cannabis regulation as advocates for legislative changes, including agricultural officials and hemp sector players, are in favor of it. In the meanwhile, the Department of Justice’s examination of the present THC restriction of 0.3 percent emphasizes how crucial evidence-based policymaking is to determining how cannabis legislation will develop in the future. Stakeholders from a variety of industries must negotiate the tricky convergence of legal, scientific, and sociological factors surrounding the legalization of hemp as regulatory frameworks continue to change.


Bottom Line


The integration of novel cannabis testing methods, including DART-HRMS and GC-MS, marks a significant advancement in law enforcement’s ability to differentiate between marijuana and hemp, streamlining investigative procedures and ensuring compliance with evolving legal frameworks. These state-of-the-art technologies promise heightened precision and efficiency, empowering law enforcement agencies to navigate the complexities of cannabis-related cases with unprecedented accuracy. As debates surrounding THC limits and federal cannabis legislation persist, stakeholders must engage in evidence-based policymaking to shape the future of hemp regulation. By staying abreast of legal and regulatory developments, law enforcement agencies can adapt their procedures accordingly, ensuring justice is served while upholding compliance with the law, thus paving the way for more effective practices in the dynamic landscape of cannabis legalization.





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