Josh Kesselman is an entrepreneur and founder of the RAW rolling papers company.
He has appeared on the Forbes Cannabis 42.0 list of 2022, and Kesselman is also the president of the BBK Tobacco & Foods Incorporation, which RAW is a part of.
He has a net worth of approximately $45 million.
|Name||Joshua D Kesselman (Josh Kesselman)|
|Date of Birth:||1972 (49 to 50 years old)|
|Place of Birth:||New York City, New York|
|Net Worth Estimate:||$45 million|
It is unclear what Kesselman’s exact net worth is. However, it is speculated to be around $45 million.
Most of Kesselman’s net worth derives from his company, the RAW Rolling Company. The company’s exact revenue is unknown, although it is speculated to own approximately 30% of the market share in legal cannabis dispensaries (1).
As such, this has contributed significantly to increasing Kesselman’s net worth.
Additionally, Kesselman is the president of BBK Tobacco & Foods, which also owns the RAW Rolling Company. In 2022, the company was noted as being a “key player” in the smoking industry (2). In effect, this has increased Kesselman’s net worth.
Kesselman is the CEO and founder of the RAW Rolling Company, also known as RAWthentic. The company’s annual revenue and valuation are unclear.
Prior to creating the RAW Rolling Company, Kesselman owned a smoke store named Knuckleheads. However, the company’s annual revenue is unclear.
Additionally, he also owned a distribution company that supplied smoking paraphernalia named HBI. It is unknown how much these stores made. However, by 2004, Kesselman hedged HBI for $1 million to purchase vegan rolling paper products (3).
The company has been reported to own approximately 30% of the market share in legal cannabis dispensaries in America (4).
Given that this market is estimated to be at approximately $10.8 billion in 2021 (5), this would indicate that the Raw Rolling Company may have somewhere around $3.24 billion of the market share in the United States.
Kesselman also owns BBK Tobacco & Foods, which is the parent company for the RAW Rolling Company (6). The company’s exact revenue is unclear, although Forbes has reported that the company’s revenues far exceed $100 million on average per year (7).
Kesselman has kept the majority of his earnings private, and it is unclear how much of the RAW Rolling Company’s profits he receives. However, Kesselman has personally donated $2 million to charities, indicating that his annual earnings must exceed this (8).
Kesselman’s exact address is unknown, although it is confirmed that he currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona (9). The average house price listed in this area is approximately $475,000 or roughly $292 per square foot (10).
Previously, Kesselman owned a custom Ferrari, which was entirely ‘vegan’ (11). He later returned the car to the dealership he bought it from after the COVID-19 pandemic began (12).
The model of Kesselman’s Ferrari, as well as the price he paid for it, are unknown. However, the price of the newest model of Ferrari starts at $213,533 (13).
Kesselman currently owns a Tesla and a Prius. However, the models of both vehicles are also unknown (14). The cheapest model of a Tesla is $68,000, while the most expensive model is approximately $135,500 (15).
One model of Prius costs approximately $24,525 (16). However, the value of Kesselman’s Prius is likely to exceed this figure, as it has custom lights and rims (17).
Kesselman was born at some point in 1972 in New York City, New York. His parents’ names are unknown, along with most of Kesselman’s educational history.
At some point, Kesselman was expelled from high school for unknown reasons. During this time, Kesselman’s father worked as a sweater maker, and Kesselman stated that he was mostly raised by his grandfather, Joe.
Kesselman’s father would entertain him as a child with ‘magic tricks’, which involved setting a rolling paper on fire and watching it disappear.
This inspired Kesselman, and he became “obsessed” with rolling paper, stating, “I just wanted to have as many as I could. I had become a collector” (18).
In 1993, Kesselman graduated from the University of Florida. His degree and final grade are both unknown.
However, during this time, Kesselman began posting on the internet about his collection of rolling papers. He began to trade his collection for rolling papers from Europe.
Following his graduation, Kesselman decided to open a smoke shop in Gainesville, Florida, called ‘Knuckleheads.’ The store sold rolling papers delivered from Europe, along with other smoking paraphernalia like bongs and pipes.
Originally, Kesselman struggled to find a landlord willing to rent retail premises to him due to the type of store Kesselman wanted to open.
Eventually, he managed to secure a location for approximately $400 a month. In order to meet these costs, Kesselman sold the majority of his possessions, including a Harley Davidson motorcycle that Kesselman had created himself.
He also began living in a storage shed owned by his friend to save on rent costs.
Kesselman began making significant profit margins with his products as he bought European papers for approximately $0.20 and sold them to American buyers for roughly $5.
In 1996, Kesselman unknowingly sold a bong to the daughter of an official in the US Customs Service. Following this, the federal government raided Kesselman’s store and placed him under house arrest for several months.
He was given a felony for distributing drug paraphernalia.
Following this, his store was forcibly closed, and his products were seized. However, the government allowed Kesselman to retain his rolling papers as these were not against the law to sell.
Following his arrest, Kesselman relocated to Arizona and opened another smoke supply shop, which also distributed smoking paraphernalia, named HBI.
Later, Kesselman began selling exclusive European rolling papers at the store, which were Elements and Juicy Jays. He then began to research how to make additive-free rolling papers, which later progressed to vegan papers.
In 2004, Kesselman began looking to include vegan rolling papers at his store, which eventually became the RAW Rolling Company.
The original supplier stated that Kesselman needed to order a minimum of $1 million in supply, which he managed to do.
Eventually, in 2009, the RAW rolling paper became successful, as customers began to desire better papers for both tobacco and marijuana (19).
One of the main reasons for this success was the paper’s popularity with hip-hop artists. One of these successes included rapper Wiz Khalifa, who released a song named RAW about the papers.
The RAW Rolling Company has also had several celebrity partnerships, including with rapper Wiz Khalifa. Together, they released several smoking products and accessories, such as papers, rolling trays, and cones.
Kesselman also created the charity group, the RAW Foundation, which aims to help impoverished individuals around the world.
Some of the organization’s initiatives include the Water is Life group, which aims to provide water wells to areas in Ethiopia, and Trees for the Future, which helps to plant trees across countries.
The group has also participated in the Wine to Water fund to fight water crises and CarbonFund to help offset world carbon emissions.
In addition, the RAW Foundation has contributed to the Home ‘Fur’ Good initiative to help animals and Kiva, an organization aiming to give more financial stability to poorer communities.
- He created Knuckleheads, a smoke shop that the federal police closed down
- He opened another smoke shop named HBI
- In 2004, he began selling RAW papers after a $1 million investment
- In 2009, RAW papers became popular with rappers and consumers alike
- RAW partnered with celebrities including Wiz Khalifa
Kesselman has kept his personal life rather private. He has at least one child, a daughter, although her name is unknown. His dating history is also unclear. However, at some point, he gave his Prius to his daughter.
Kesselman’s father was Jewish, although it is unclear if Kesselman is also religious.
Kesselman is a vegan and has been vegan since 1993.
View this post on Instagram
- Kesselman has a YouTube account, where he regularly uploads videos related to smoking and guides on how to perfect a roll. One of his most popular video series is about the history of rolling paper (20).
- Kesselman deliberately chose to make the RAW Foundation not a 501(c)(3). In his own words, “We don’t take money from anyone, we just give from the heart” (21).
- Kesselman is a supporter of legalizing cannabis use across America and has stated that he believes the federal government should encourage its legality (22).
- Kesselman participated in the Black Lives Matter protests in America during 2020, particularly those related to police brutality (23).
Josh Kesselman is a businessman and entrepreneur. He is most famous for being the founder of the RAW Rolling Company, which sells one of the only vegan rolling papers in the world.
He is also the president of the BBK Tobacco and Food corporation and has a net worth of approximately $45 million.