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Pre-Rolls Are Taking Off. Here’s How The Industry Is Driving Their Growth

Technology in the cannabis industry has advanced leaps and bounds since medical legalization passed in California back in 1996. New strains, devices, and data have poured into the mainstream cannabis community.

Even the oldest and most simple method of consumption has benefited from new technology. Rolled cannabis cigarettes, or joints, have been the preferred way to consume the plant since the 1920s. While Americans have largely moved to using tobacco-based materials to roll up their cannabis, in Europe, joints that use paper as a base are still the most popular method of consumption. 

The act of rolling a joint is therapeutic in itself for many cannabis users. However, it can be time-consuming and inefficient. Fingers become sticky from handling a large amount of flower, and some medical conditions such as arthritis make it difficult to roll and close the paper. Because of these inconveniences, pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes have become increasingly favored by consumers. 

New Tech for a Time-Honored Tradition

Individual pre-rolled cones come in a variety of strains and strengths, and buyers have the choice of pre-rolls that contain delta-8, CBD, or THC. Each pre-roll also has consistent shape and weight, so dosing is more accurate than self-rolled joints.

For people looking to fill their own cones using their favorite strains, several options have emerged on the market in the last few years.
The OTTO by Banana Bros. is a grinder and automatic cone-roller hybrid. It even has built-in AI. What a time to be alive. 

“The OTTO’s patented AI milling system analyzes your material and automatically adjusts the direction, speed, and pressure of its precision-engineered milling blades to create the perfect grind every time,” according to OTTO’s website. 

While it may not be the most important use of AI technology, it is certainly a few steps up from the old hand-crank cigarette roller your uncle used. 

The STM Atomic Closer is Changing the Game

Pre-rolled cones have become so popular, new machines have had to be created specifically to facilitate mass production of them. Enter the STM Atomic Closer, an automatic cone-closing machine that can pack down and close 68 pre-rolls in one session. For companies looking to cut down on the time it takes to get individual cones rolled, packed, and shipped, the STM atomic closer is a game-changer. 

All Pre-Rolls are Not Created Equal

Consistent shape and weight are some of the positive aspects associated with cones, but consistent quality is not always guaranteed. Josh Kesselman, founder of Raw rolling papers has been striving to help companies and consumers create a consistent, sustainable, and evenly burning product since the company’s inception in 1995. 

“There’s lots of testing involved, a lot of production,” said Kesselman. “I’ve seen lots of people try to find ways to make them cheaper and easier like spiral wrapping, which makes them, in my experience, burn terrible.”

The key to buying quality pre-rolls is to know the company and know the product. RAW uses unrefined paper from natural plants with zero burn additives, ensuring that the rolling medium is environmentally sound and as healthy as possible.

Pre-rolls are one of the most convenient and popular cannabis products on the market today, and companies like Banana Bros., Raw, and STM are making production for consumers and distributors easier, safer, and more efficient. 

This article was first published in the spring 2022 issue of Cannabis & Tech Today. Read the full issue here.

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