Rolling paper company Republic Brands has won a permanent injunction in a federal lawsuit against HBI International, the maker of RAW® Organic Hemp rolling papers, which requires HBI to cease promoting and selling certain products and stop making certain promotional statements. The plaintiff, Republic Brands, is the rolling paper company behind OCB®, JOB®, and other rolling paper brands.
Following a jury verdict last month that HBI International engaged in unfair business practices and violated the Illinois Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, the rolling paper company has been barred from suggesting that its products are made by artisanal craftsmen in Alcoy, Spain — the birthplace of the modern rolling paper — and that it contributes its proceeds to a charitable entity or foundation known as the “RAW Foundation,” which the court found did not actually exist.
In total, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on January 31, 2023, permanently enjoined HBI International from communicating or otherwise implying — whether via marketing material or statements by personnel — any of the following:
- That HBI and/or RAW® contributes its funds or proceeds to a charitable entity/foundation dubbed the “RAW Foundation”
- That RAW® Organic Hemp rolling papers are “unrefined”
- That RAW® Organic Hemp rolling paper adhesives are made from natural hemp gum
- That RAW® Organic Hemp rolling papers are the world’s first or only organic (or organic hemp) rolling papers
- That RAW® Organic Hemp rolling papers are made in Alcoy, Spain
- That HBI International shall not include a packaging “stamp” using the word Alcoy or referring to Alcoy
- That RAW® Organic Hemp rolling papers utilize wind power
- That RAW® Organic Hemp rolling papers are made from the center of hemp stalks
- That HBI or its founder Joshua Kesselmen invented rolling paper pre-rolled cones
- That OCB® Organic Hemp papers are knock-offs, “RAWnabees,” copies, or fake versions of RAW® rolling papers
The court ordered HBI to stop promoting, selling, or distributing products in any way that would violate the enjoinment. Additionally, after May 31, 2023, HBI is foribbden from promoting, selling, or otherwise distributing rolling paper products under any of its other brands (which includes Elements®, Juicy Jays®, and others) in packaging that includes an Alcoy stamp.
HBI International did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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