Pictured above is my fancy new iPhone case that is a handy joint-rolling accessory! This product is made by a company called iRollie, owned and operated by Joe Khoury and Luke Shepter. Joe and Luke are 21-year-old college students who competed with biotech companies for a startup accelerator and won! They have been featured in High Times and have developed some new products that they are to be launching in the next month or so.
OG: So, what have you been up to lately?
I am finishing my final year at University of Massachusetts Amherst after living in Denver all summer. Additionally, we have developed a number of new products that are being finalized as we speak, and will be dropping soon! This is thanks to the TREMENDOUS iRollie industrial engineer that just came on the team. iRollie has expanded our white labeling portion of the business, and we are working with brands such as Def Jam Records to co-brand product. This has been awesome, and we have been able to meet some awesome new companies, people, and artists, such as Bibi Bourelly.
OG: General inspirations for how you live your life?
My biggest inspiration is Mark Twain. I think he is one of the great American innovators and cultural catalysts. He had the whimsical and adventurous spirit that led to a full life that spanned the spectrum of human experience. He was regarded as one of the greatest thinkers and orators of his time but maintained a subversive attitude. An attitude that was critical of the powers that be, and a sharp wit that compelled what would sway hordes of people to his perspective. For example, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the tale of a young ruffian boy born in Missouri during the height of the slave era in the 1830s. Similarly, Twain was born in Missouri in the 1830s. Huck runs away with a slave, Jim, and grows to love him as a friend. At ten years old, this child has the moral compass to deny everything society, family, and the law has told him about slavery and black people. Huck sees the absurdity and immorality in a culture that treats people this way. Similarly, Twain was as outspoken against the institutions and norms that harm people, individual freedom, and overall creativity.
That long winded synopsis of Huck Finn & Twain has a point. The current state of cannabis legality makes its support somewhat subversive. With objective analysis devoid of societal consequences, i.e. jail, this is an overwhelmingly beneficial plant. The people opposing it are the powers that be that have an insidious stake in keeping it illegal. These powers are the pharmaceutical companies that are able to profit from selling synthetic medicines that are highly addictive and harmful. These medicines would be replaced by cannabis and with more efficacy.
Twain influenced me by showing that what is law is not always right, and to trust your gut and moral compass, even when it is unpopular.
OG: How do you feel about cannabis?
LOVE IT! It is such a crime “no pun intended” that it is still illegal. With so many healing properties, and its ability to replace a lot of opiates, it saddens us to see people mired in addiction at the hands of big pharma profits.
OG: Any advice for someone who would like to do something cannabis-related for a living?
I know this is so cliche but just start. Whatever your idea is, begin the steps to making it a reality.
OG: What do you think would happen if an elderly woman fed a tray of hash brownies to a pack of squirrels?
A lot of trees would no longer have their nuts.
OG: How much coffee is too much coffee?
1 million and 1 coffees.
OG: How do you feel about Feminism?
I love it. Equality should be a cornerstone of any free society. I have two sisters, and they are going to be the most successful amongst us, or at least have the most ability. So, it is so troubling to think they would ever face bias because of their gender.
The men that oppose feminism are often self-conscious about their own capabilities and feel threatened because they will be beaten by a girl! (Every young boy’s nightmare.)
I’m not too up to date on feminist manifestos, but it seems the definition of feminism is becoming more abstract. I am not for the people that say men are the root of all problems and an all-female society is the solution. I am for everyone (race, gender, alien, whatever) having the same opportunities, pay, and treatment.
OG: What do you think the secrets to happiness are?
Hahaha, this seems to be the eternal human dilemma. It’s definitely an evolving answer for me, but I think good people and love are two of the big ones. The timeless aspects of humanity like a great conversation and love are the things I have found in my 21 years of life. More generally, the moments that seem uniquely human.
Once I die, I will have a better answer for you.
OG: Anyone you’d love to work on a project with?
SNOOP! If you’re seeing this Snoop, slide into those DM’s.
OG: Women you think are amazing?
My mother. She is a mother of four children, I’m the oldest. She lived a massive life. Lived in Ecuador & Spain, was a wall street broker for a while, she was a journalist for The Boston Globe, and raised some kick ass kids. She has started businesses of her own, and always pushed us to get out of our comfort zone. She is not at all a conventional mom. For example, during hurricanes where people are told to evacuate the beach, she would take us to the beach. The storms always made for the best waves, and she would take us swimming.
She taught us open-mindedness and compassion. This summer my mom put up six Syrian refugee children for a couple weeks. These kids got to play with my younger siblings, and just have a blast. I guess the biggest quality she has I admire is fearlessness. She didn’t let the war mongering fear of refugee terrorists deter her from helping where it is needed. She’s dope.
OG: Where do you think Stoner Heaven is?
OG: Where should stoners visit in your city?
The Institute of Contemporary Art is a really cool place to check out in Boston after rolling up on an iRollie. In terms of food, Anna’s Taqueria in Cambridge is some of the best Mexican food I have ever had. There are a couple of them around the city I think.
OG: What’s next for you?
We are launching a whole bunch of new products in the next couple of months. Additionally, some big partnerships on the horizon!
Thanks very much for taking the time to share your point of view with me, Joe!! Best wished to you and the iRollie team!
Toke it easy,