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Five Crisp Questions with Raw Garden Founder: Khalid Al-Naser

Five Crisp Questions with Raw Garden Founder: Khalid Al-Naser

Khalid Al-Naser
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I’ve been a fan of Raw Garden for several years now. From their extraordinary quality extracts to their infused pre-roll joints, I’m confident of their excellence. The new infused pre-rolls are deeply potent and possess bursts of terpenes which take your experience to a “higher” level.

Thank you for allowing me the honor of interviewing Khalid. Cheers! WB

Warren Bobrow: Please tell me about yourself? What do you do? How did you find your way into the cannabis industry? When did you discover the plant? 

Khalid Al-Naser: I have always been a jack-of-all trades, but more generally in jobs that have put me in the service of others. Over the years I have seen the value of good manners and great service and saw hard work and exciting ideas translate to rewarding outcomes. I love art and good food and grew up around my grandpa’s farm and bakery and in my formative years spent time as a waiter, a cook, a designer, and also as a photographer, all while enjoying and being inspired by what at the time felt like an extracurricular activity. I am an avid cannabis consumer and have been for most of my teenage and adult years. It wasn’t until moving to California over 15 years ago that I was exposed to a different way of thinking about cannabis. It was the first time the idea of cannabis as more than a pleasant distraction started to float around my head, namely stirred on by friend (and Raw Garden co-founder) Thomas Martin, who saw an opportunity to challenge the status quo while also doing something that could help a lot of people. Ultimately this led to us participating in California’s (215) medical framework. Back then it was new, and in some ways easy, jump on the highest soap box and fight the good fight. Growing up smoking weed I had always been told I was wasting my time, but now there was a path to a higher calling of service that felt good and rewarding for all of the right reasons. We were going to make “Good Medicine.” which to me meant providing people with cannabis that was; quality, consistently, and at an accessible price.

WB: I love Raw Garden, especially the new pre-rolls. How did you figure out the techniques? Do you try the competition’s products to stay ahead of the curve?

KA: We love trying lots of products but usually start with personal preference based on previous experiences and look toward differentiation during ideation. With our joints in particular we wanted to create an easy to enjoy, high-quality joint that was elegant and high potency. We love rolling joints and that was a big part of the challenge. Ultimately, I think we were able to meet our goal as these have become a favorite of the team.

WB: What kind of food do you love to eat when you are “enjoying” cannabis?  Do you have a favorite restaurant? Where? What kind of food? What do you order? 

KA: Growing up around my grandpa’s bakery I was exposed early to food being fun. With that being said, when I am enjoying cannabis, I love trying new things and I especially enjoy infusion cooking that explores interesting flavor combinations.

One of my favorite local spots is Industrial Eats in Buellton, California up against the Sta. Rita Hills AVA. The area is known for some really wonderful Pinot’s and some amazing local food. If you are looking to grab some amazing charcuterie items to go explore wine country or you want to sit down and enjoy thoughtfully produced dishes that infuse diverse flavors with local ingredients, Industrial Eats is the place. They have an eclectic menu with a diverse offering of dishes featuring locally produced produce, proteins, as well as a few select international delicacies in the groceries section.

This is a place to come with friends after a good session, share a few plates, and try something you haven’t had before. Cannabis makes a natural aperitif and allows you to roll into a meal with your senses more present and can really elevate the consumption experience. The combinations of ingredients are always surprising and can really take you on an adventure when paired with the right accompaniments.

WB:  What is your passion? 

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KA: Cannabis is a huge passion of mine, but honestly, I love geeking out on all sorts of neat facts and interesting truths. I have always enjoyed learning but didn’t realize how much I enjoyed it until I started to mature a bit as a young adult. School was never that exciting and I always associated that with learning not being exciting, however, once I stumbled into self-guided learning, I found that everything I enjoyed had things to learn about it. – Whether it be food, history, animals, or cannabis, the things I enjoy I also enjoy learning about.

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Feature photo credit: Nick Darling 


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