Dispensary owners and smoking enthusiasts agree, a streamlined pre-roll production process is the ideal way to keeping your product quality and customers high. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know if you're planning on starting a pre-roll branding campaign or expanding your current range of pre-roll products.
There and three parts to this pre-roll production guide that we’ll discuss in detail:
Before we jump right in, you may want to think about custom branding your pre-rolls. It’s the best way to build your brand and stamp your products with a seal of quality. If this is more of a lost cost operation that is still getting started, you’re looking for a high quantity cone pack that still has great quality.
1. Selecting the Best Pre-Rolled Cones/Tubes
There are a range of pre-rolled cones that you can use to create your pre-rolls. Your variables are paper type, size, shape, filter type and branding options. MJ Supply Co has tons of options to choose from.
Those are three we recommend trying, but click here for all the options on Pre-rolled Cones.
Try it out: different paper grades, colours, flavours and types all make an impact on the branding, audience, and strain. Once you have figured out what paper is best for your customers, you need to think about the shape size of your pre-roll.
Tube vs. Cone - Which is better?
There are close to unlimited shape and size options when it comes to both. You can find variation of top diameter, bottom diameter, cone/tube length, or filter length. We suggest thinking about your branding, the smoking experience you are wanting to create, and how much flower you want to fit into the cone or tube.
Let’s first start by comparing pre-rolled cones to pre-rolled tubes. What is the difference? Firstly, the shape. A pre-rolled cone is similar to a classic joint with a larger diameter at the top and a smaller diameter at the bottom, making a cone shape.
Pre-rolled tubes have a classic cigarette shape, with the diameter at the bottom being the same size as the top. The tube shape is the newest innovation in cannabis and it has some benefits, like a better smoking experience. It also looks familiar to regular smokers.
For the packing process, there are lots of cone-filling machines available. The tube machines are still a bit more pricey on average but its worth looking at if you are looking for that type of smoking experience.
The next thing you need to consider in your decision is how it will look when put on your packaging, branding and displays. Custom pre-roll boxes can be something that puts it over the top for some customers.
How to choose the right size
Both pre-rolled cones and pre-rolled tubes let you change different features like the diameter, filter length or paper length. In order to get the perfect pre-roll, think about how much cannabis material you want to use before deciding on one or the other.
Single packs are commonly offered as pre-rolled joints of either .75g or 1.25g. If a big joint is what you’re going for, check out the RAW 12" Supernatural Size Pre-Rolled Cones.
Different types of rolling tips and filters
Experiment with different rolling tips and filter lengths until you find the one that works best for you – the shorter the filter the more direct the smoke and the less filtration it will receive resulting in stronger, harsher hits. The longer the filter, the cooler and lighter the hits
The shape of a cone has a significant effect on the way it smokes: by changing the diameter of the bottom, you can change airflow resistance and fully customize your smoking experience. You can choose to alter the size of the opening at the bottom for different smoke and puff effects. The more smoke the consumer gets per puff, the faster the joint will burn, and the stronger and thicker it will be.
Picking filters for pre-rolls
We always recommend the RAW Unrefined Slim Cotton Filters. They are the tried and true filters that are easy to work with and great to smoke with. You can elevate it with wood or glass tips, or go with a W tip or spiral tip to be economical.
If you have some burning questions that didn’t get answered about the cones, get in touch with us and we will be happy to help you out.
2. Grinding Your Flower
You already might have a price point in mind for you pre rolls before you chose your cones. The price you’re aiming for will mostly be influenced by the type of flower you’re going to use. Spending your money on an expensive filter, custom branding and selling in the $20-25 range won’t work if you’re filling your joints with trim. Or if you’re envisioning a 1 gram pre-roll retailing for $5 that’s filled with a premium indoor bud, then you either have a plant we don’t know about or you are going to loose money.
Deciding between trim, full flower or a blend
Your options are essentially the following: A-buds, B-buds, smalls, and trim. A-buds are used mostly for glass jars and bags because they have high retail appeal. Smalls and B-Buds is what you’re used to seeing in full-flower pre-rolls. Most people save the Trim for lower priced, value pack pre-rolls or extraction.
Pre-rolls that are entirely trim will be way too harsh of a smoking experience. A lower price point pre-rolls can have a blend with 10% to 20% and in some cases, improve the smoking experience of a full flower roll. The drier trim in the joint will create a more even burn.
We support whatever decision you make but then you have to think about grinding it down to an adequate size. Next we'll talk about how grinding your flower is important to fit it into your pre-roll cones.
Time to grind
Now it’s time to think about the grinding process. The operation you’re running will determine the machine you should be using. So, here are three options: Low, Medium, and High-Volume cannabis milling machines.
If you're on a budget, you'll either want a hand grinder or a low-volume grinder with being any type of blender or food processor. These grinders are readily available at a variety of retailers and their prices vary from $50 - $350. These can be used to grind down flower but not much more. There are a few inconveniences with using a blender/food processor to grind your flower. You’re limited in container size and the particle size control. When you grind in a blender or food processor, the end size of the cannabis will vary. Most likely when you’re done grinding you’ll have some dust, a few particles, and some bigger clumps.
The lack of control over the size of your cannabis may result in uneven pre-roll weights. This can add some extra work to make sure the joints aren’t too light or heavy. We should also point out that some blenders and food processors will get hot during the grind. The heat can affect the terpenes and trichomes on the flower.
If you're able to spend $1500 to $2000 on a grinder, then you can start looking at some mid-volume grinders. There are the weed whacker grinder, and the industrial grinder. The whacker grinder has a motor that rotates the blades at a high RPM which cuts and grinds the cannabis. You can grind multiple pounds at a time with these but you still have the same problem with the heat possibly damaging the terpenes and trichomes.
We like the industrial grinders with a low-RPM high-torque motor. There is less heat and the blades grind the cannabis through a specific sized screen. The screen controls the final particle size of the cannabis.
Getting into the high volume machines can get you spending upwards of 10k and can grind hundreds of pounds per hour. Thats a lot of pre-rolls! Typically those are for suppliers processing extract and not for rolling joints.
By the way, here's some tips for storing your cannabis to keep it fresh and tasting great
3. Packing Your Pre-Rolls
There’s a lot of options when it comes to Pre-Rolled Filling Machines, and it’s worth the investment to get one. Pre-rolls can be tedious to do by hand and you have to factor in the human error. You can pick up a low cost pre-roll filler that does six at a time, like this RAW Bamboo Six Shooter Cone Filler. If you need a higher volume, a Humboldt Cone Filling Machine Starter Kit comes in three different capacities(55, 121, 315). Then there is our favourite, the RAW Thumper Cone Filler / Pre-Rolled Cone Filling Machine. Filling 100 cones per minute and is backed by raw with a 1 year warranty.
Once you’ve got your got your pre-rolling machine, how does it work?
The Raw Cone Thumper Cone Filler is a high quality cone filler that fills 100 cones in minutes using sound waves to tap the cones and vibrate the material. Basically, the vibrations created by the sound waves loads the desired material into pre-loaded cones with some help from gravity.
Here’s a great demo on how to use the Humboldt Cone Filling Machine
This video can describe how to use the RAW Bamboo Six Shooter Cone Filler better than we can.
To fill your pre-rolled cones with cannabis you'll need to weigh them first and make sure their weight correct. If you’re selling theses, you’ll want to know the regulations on the weight variance. Currently, this is a manual task and you must weigh each pre-roll to add or remove cannabis as needed. The best way to do this is to pick yourself up a digital scale from MJ Supply Co.
Once you are done with the weighing and getting it to the correct weight, you may find it useful to quickly tamp on the pre-roll a final time. The machine will tamp it roughly, so by doing this step after, it should be tighter and easier to pack. Some manufacturers pre-roll cigarettes before adding that to the factory's cigarette rolling machine. To start, they will just use a small metal rod to do additional tamping.
Final touches on your pre-rolls
Once you are finished rolling there are two ways of sealing off the end. One way(which is easiest) is to twist the top of the paper into a tail shape. If you twist too much here, you might end up with a really tight joint. This can make the lighting of your joint harder and more likely end up having the joint canoe on you.
A ‘dutch crown’ is the other way and gives your joint a more polished look. To do this, you fold down the excess paper and into the center of the joint. This will take longer but you’ll have a nicer looking product.
There are many factors and options to consider when building a pre-rolled brand, however the possibilities are endless. A lot of industries are looking for new ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. There are many things you can do to show your customers you care about them, and a great way to do that is with a unique experience.
Here at MJ Supply Co., we strongly advocate feedback and creating a brand or business that can thrive in the marketplace. Feel free to contact our team with any questions, concerns, and advice at anytime you have when designing a brand.
Our shop is a great way to explore our design offerings and reach out with any questions you might have. Thanks!