Early on, Josh Kesselman sensed a void in the rolling-paper market. The former smoke-shop owner and collector of papers realized there wasn’t a truly natural option for consumers. In 2005, Kesselmam founded Raw, an all-natural “vegan” rolling paper. Under his guidance, Raw has become one of the most recognized and trusted rolling-paper brands in the world. In this exclusive interview, Kesselman discusses the secret to his success as a rolling-paper kingpin, the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship and the incredible charity work that has become his passion.
Most people know Raw Papers—it’s my favorite rolling paper. It’s a major part of a lot of people’s lives.
Take us back to before you started the company. How did you get involved in the industry?
Okay, I’ve got to give you the supershort version because you won’t give me hours to sit here and talk. And I would do it! For me, it all began as a kid here in New York City and my dad doing a magic trick with his rolling paper. That was the only magic trick he knew, and that [made] me fall in love with rolling papers—like a true infatuation. I became a collector of them. That’s all I really wanted to get into was rolling paper. I loved them. I had the biggest collection, I think, in the world at the time. It was a hobby. It was my passion.
So when I was in college, I scrounged up enough money to open up a tiny little head shop in Gainesville, FL, where I began trading with the other collectors to bring in cool papers from Europe, a lot of the old, cool shit. That brought me into the actual industry, where I’m importing papers …
Author: Danny Danko / High Times