The cannabis market is far from what it was 10 years ago. Around the same time when the music industry began to embrace the digital world entirely, the cannabis industry embraced changes that, like streaming services, offered convenience to a new generation. It’s all about pre-rolls. Millennials and Gen. Zers hardly embrace the art of rolling like OG smokers. In fact, pre-rolls are becoming so popular that the state of Washington is offering free pre-rolled joints to anyone who received their COVID-19 vaccine. Though RAW papers are still flying off the shelves, many casual cannabis users are wondering where to buy RAW cones.
There was a time when learning how to roll a joint was almost a rite of passage into the cannabis community. The baby steps, from pencil rolling to hand rolling, were part of a learning process that few mastered, yet a crucial skill for any smoker. Now, with the rise of recreational cannabis in more states, every marijuana dispensary in the legal marketplace offers pre-rolled joints for your convenience.
If you don’t have the rolling technique mastered, but still want to enjoy the experience of smoking a joint, pre-rolled cones are a nice middle ground. This method of smoking is growing among young cannabis consumers, largely because it saves them time. The younger generation does not seem to be as concerned with fancy rolling techniques either. It’s all about getting the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Twisted to perfection, pre-rolls mean all you need to do is grind your herb and pack it in for that perfectly slow-burning joint.
The evolution from hand-rolled to pre-rolled was inevitable. Tobacco products were similarly packed in rolling papers — often with no filter — before cigarette companies revolutionized the way people smoke. Cannabis is following a similar path in making it trouble-free to light up at any time. Pre-rolled cones, whether Element, Futurola, or RAW cones, have grown in popularity alongside cannabis in the past year. While they are currently in high demand, there have been difficulties meeting the market’s needs during the pandemic.
The widespread lockdown in states across America has played a role in the surge of marijuana consumption in the legal cannabis industry. Meanwhile, there’s a shortage of pre-rolled cones. HBI, the company behind RAW and Elements, dealt with the blow at the start of the pandemic. HBI Sales Executive Niles Van Buren explained in a recent interview that while the paper itself is being processed through machines, pre-rolled cones at many companies remain hand-rolled. Unfortunately, these companies were hit the hardest when early social distancing measures forced them to shrink their staff. This caused a decrease in production while demand continued to spike. While rolling joints themselves is messy and outdated, millennials and Gen. Zers have been driving the demand for pre-rolled joints in recent years. Cy Scott, CEO of Headset, Inc., a cannabis industry analytics service that provides data and statistics to U.S. dispensaries and retailers, said that millennials are the biggest clientele in the pre-roll category.
In his opinion, it’s because pre-rolled joints are relatively inexpensive in comparison to purchasing an abundance of flower. Plus, it cuts out the process of rolling cannabis, allowing consumers to simply enjoy cannabis without hassles.
“Some of our assumptions around that are related to pre-rolls being a relatively inexpensive product; you could buy a single-pack pre-roll for pretty cheap. So, they are purchasing a lot of units of that,” Scott said during his appearance on the GreenEntrepreneur podcast.
Right now, products like RAW cones have dominated the pre-rolled cones market, mainly because they’re one of the few companies that have been able to supply during the shortage. The brand familiarity certainly helped, too. RAW cones have also found strength in their dog walker mini-size pre-rolled cones.
Dog walker mini pre-rolls are bringing a sense of excitement among Millennials and professionals. The tiny pre-rolled cones were made with the intention of a quick smoke while taking your dog for a walk, hence the name. These, too, have been favorable among younger crowds, and are bound to become a staple in the cannabis community. They are suited for the casual smoker who is simply looking to take a few puffs to unwind. Many have found dog walker pre-rolled cones convenient for on-the-go activities.
Cannabis smokers are leaning further and further away from manually rolling their own joints. After all, time is money and people are trying to save both. The perks of pre-rolled cones, whether already filled with cannabis from the dispensary or made at home, are changing the way cannabis users smoke. The iconic joint paper packages probably won’t fade away in the near future, but they might end up being less common among your smoking buddies.
As we witness a shift in attitudes towards cannabis, more people are openly embracing its benefits. More states are legalizing cannabis, and discussions for federal legalization are currently underway. As pre-rolled joints continue to rise in demand, it’s more than likely that it won’t just be Millennials and Gen. Z smokers embracing their convenience, but smokers of all ages.