With just a small investment in 1993, entrepreneur Josh Kesselman (@Rawkandroll) built an empire around a lifelong passion for innovating a product he loves: rolling papers. The CEO and creator of RAW has grown his investment into the most popular rolling paper brand in the world.
RAW was originally made for connoisseurs who wanted rolling paper that would not alter the flavor of whatever was being smoked – tobacco, legal herbs, or marijuana. Today, RAW has grown into a full-fledged lifestyle brand that transcends the cannabis and tobacco industry. Kesselman’s inventions range from his iconic “best in class” natural rolling papers, to pre-rolled filter tips, amongst countless other original products that have revolutionized the ritual of rolling.
Kesselman is leading by example and infusing his charismatic public persona across the entire company. He introduced a vegan approach to consumption (yes, RAW’s rolling papers are vegan) and he posts engaging Instagram tutorials on how to use his products to over 1.5 million followers. The company has a broad but loyal, cult-like following, with hip-hop star Wiz Khalifa even dedicating a song to the brand, aptly titled “Raw.” His products are now sold in every U.S. state, across thousands of convenience stores, smoke shops, and cannabis dispensaries. The RAW family employs thousands of workers, with offices in the U.S., Asia, Canada, and Europe.
Like many great innovators, Kesselman’s philanthropic legacy is built in the RAW Foundation, where he has donated millions of dollars to organizations across the world and is an active participant in their work. The many projects Kesselman has personally supported include digging wells in Sub-Saharan Africa, building orphanages in South East Asia, and fostering tree and water preservation initiatives across North America.