One Love Africa is a fairly new and truly local brand of rolling papers. However, these are no ordinary rolling papers, but a rolling pack with everything you need to roll your jiggy. A single pack comes with king size, super slim, slow burning hemp papers, filters, a stash pocket, a grinder and even a rolling tray. That’s right – all of this in one simple, eco-friendly package.
Stephen Smith is the man you can thank for these awesome papers, and we got in touch with him to find out more about these innovative rolling papers and how they came about.
What role does cannabis play in your life?
For me, smoking cannabis is somewhere between medicinal and recreational. I was born with Tourette’s syndrome, which makes me very twitchy, and cannabis helps calm that. Plus, I love getting high. I see cannabis as a safer, healthier and less socially destructive substance than alcohol. I think it will be just as acceptable to have a joint as it is to have a beer in the future – the data is telling us that big shifts from alcohol to cannabis have already started in younger generations.
I also enjoy baking with cannabis for my legend girlfriend, Jade Jordaan, as she suffers from very bad migraines. Half a cookie reduces her pain and helps her sleep. What an amazing plant.
What inspired you to start One Love?
I left my corporate job last year May to focus on the cannabis industry full time – I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I did know that I wanted to be part of the cannabis movement in South Africa. Someone once said to me, ‘Don’t start a business – start five and see which one is successful.’ I started with dagga.co.za and a few other potential businesses. Most of them were spectacularly unsuccessful, but after having sold my car and remortgaging my home, I had to Fokvoort.
I took a step back and conducted around one hundred face-to-face interviews, focus groups and surveys, along with data-driven research. Once everything was compiled, the data told me what to do. It was truly beautiful. People said that they were fed up with poor dimensions, unnatural chemicals and bleach. They felt there wasn’t a rolling paper relevant to cannabis smokers. We looked into how we could improve current offerings of papers and then take it to the next level. We wanted to give South Africans a pack for today’s on-the-go lifestyle, with natural, eco-friendly hemp papers, filters, a stash pouch, mauler and tray – all packaged in a manner that would help destigmatise some of the negative thoughts around cannabis smoking. We went premium. A happy customer said to us, ‘I feel like I’m in a completely different league when I whip this out to roll.’
The most important part of the One Love ethos is to invest a portion of profit into growing the South African cannabis industry, as there is enormous potential for this plant to help our beautiful country. This year, cannabis jobs outpaced manufacturing jobs in the US. That is incredible. One Love invests in growing people, growing skills and growing plants. Ask any of my friends what I like, and the answer will be ‘Dagga and South Africa’.
How did the name One Love come about? Is it in any way an ode to the Rastafari religion?
Absolutely. I love and have always been fascinating by the Rastafari religion and culture.
And Bob Marley’s Legend album was one of the first CDs I ever bought. Basically, the name came about by my desire to, in whatever way I can, bring about a bit more peace,
love and unity to South Africa.
What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learnt during the One Love journey?
There is no substitute for hard work.
How does different smoking paper affect your jay and overall smoke experience?
One Love papers are made from a slow-burn blend of hemp, which is completely natural and has no added chemicals or bleaches. You can see it in the fibres of the papers. When we were designing the perfect cannabis rolling papers, we didn’t think about what we could add, but rather what we could take away. Why in the world are some manufacturers still bleaching their papers – it makes no sense. When I smoke a new strain of sticky icky, I want to savour every trichome and not have to worry about breathing in bleach or other harmful chemicals.
What makes One Love rolling papers the best in the South African market?
Does any other rolling papers company in South Africa invest in the growth and future of this Country?
What is your favourite aspect of the local cannabis community at the moment?
I’m loving all the new concepts, brands and stories that are coming from this movement. It’s definitely high time the laws were amended, and I think a lot of people (myself included) have been waiting for this change for a long time.
What do you see for the future of cannabis in South Africa?
Private clubs, export and tourism. I have done extensive travelling around the globe, and based on international models, I think we will start to see many private clubs start to open up. It seems as though the laws will effectively state that one can only consume cannabis in a place not accessible by the public. With our abundance of sunshine, nutrient-rich soil and access to clean water, South Africa is poised for huge growth in the cannabis-export game. And who doesn’t love Durban Poison?
If you could only get goofed one way for the rest of your life, would you use joints, bongs
pipes, edibles or concentrates? And why?
Absolutely joints. I like the effect of smoking zol, and enjoy having a little bit a couple of times per day rather than smashing 2gs in a bong and then not being able to string a sentence together.
Do you have any smoking rituals or habits you can tell us about?
I always tap the joint 21 times – OCD tells me to.
What was your first timing getting high like?
Amazing! I thought I was flying. And I still love cannabis all these years later, and the way it brings people of all different types together.
Peace. Love. Unity. – OneLove
Rolling papers, although a simple concept, make one of the biggest differences in your smoking experience. Most of us will know how much of a difference good rolling papers will make to your sesh, which is what makes an all-in-one rolling kit that much more valuable.
The team at One Love have gone out of their way to bring this to South African soil, while contributing to the growth of the local community at the same time. It’s always heartwarming to see a local company bringing something unique to the table and give back to South Africa. Stephen and his team are some of the most welcoming and passionate people the CN team have met on our journey, and we are certainly fans of their papers! Keep an eye out for a review in the near future.