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Quality and Quantity: Producing Pre-Rolls in an Expanding Market

Quality and Quantity: Producing Pre-Rolls in an Expanding Market

There are currently more than 600 pre-roll labels operating nationally without any single brand dominating more than three percent of the market. Consumer preferences for pre-rolls are on the rise and manufacturers are jumping at the opportunity to tap into a rapidly expanding market sector. The pre-roll is no longer an afterthought for dispensary customers; it is now a primary product purchase for consumers across North America. While ads for pre-rolls appear frequently throughout the cannabis community, the increase in pre-roll sales is evidentiary of their popularity. Outpaced only by flower, pre-rolls have been the second-largest growth segment in cannabis products on the market over the last two years. From dogwalkers to caviar pre-rolls, marketplace options are quickly diversifying.

The best pre-rolls are produced by manufacturers who fastidiously prepare flower for pre-rolls from seed to sale for specific consumer groups. New cannabis consumers exploring the plant for the first time are drawn to the familiarity of a joint and expect the pre-rolls they purchase to smoke smoothly, providing an easy introductory experience. For seasoned connoisseurs, the pre-roll offers an opportunity to indulge in craft cannabis and more potent infused products. Pre-rolls with oil infusions, kief wrapping, rich cannabinoid content, and special wraps appeal to experienced consumers who expect to spend a bit more for quality. And the average dispensary customer often seeks out pre-rolls for the simple purpose of sampling a new strain at a low cost. It is certainly a formative moment in time for quality improvement in the pre-roll market sector, and businesses have an opportunity to establish invaluable loyalty with niche consumer groups. 

Producing high-quality consistent pre-rolls on an industrial scale requires a meticulously controlled manufacturing environment and an integrated technology system with customized automations. Businesses need solutions, and engineers in the cannabis industry have worked tirelessly to design technology that accommodates evolving consumer demand. Industrial grinders, like the Model G, offer grind customization options so manufacturers can pack pre-rolls with ideal density to ensure a smooth burn from tip to filter. And most significantly, engineers have recently revolutionized the category with high-volume, quality-controlled pre-roll machines. With the continual growth of pre-roll sales, the current return on investment (ROI) for pre-roll machines is an appealing opportunity for many cannabis manufacturers. 


Types of pre-roll machines 

Before the technology for mass pre-roll production was available, it was a painstaking manual endeavor. Even a skilled packer can't knock out more than three cones a minute. “Fill and drop” machines nominally increased production speeds by preparing cones for manual filling, which undoubtedly influenced the design of future automated machines. And rudimentary pre-roll packing technology, like bump boxes, offered a better solution to hand packing, but left room for an abundance of human error. Bump boxes require manual shaking to fill the cones, which does not ameliorate the consistency challenges endured by hand-packing pre-rolls. 

As legalization expanded, innovative automation changed the game in pre-roll production. The engineers who created today’s powerful pre-roll machines took the bump box and removed inconsistent time-consuming manual labor from the equation. These machines can produce hundreds of perfectly dense and accurately weighed pre-rolls in the same amount of time it takes to manually pack a single pre-roll. 

Automatic pre-roll filling machines require minimal labor and operation is straightforward. Manufacturers simply load the cones and ground flower into the machine, and adjust machine settings for customized final products. Some machines are large-scale automated versions of the bump box, using vibration and gravity to fill cones with sensors to specify consistent weight. Other machines directly inject cones with flower to pack customized pre-rolls or use radial compaction technology to mimic hand-rolling. 

Because the cannabis industry comprises businesses of many sizes, different iterations of automated industrial pre-roll machines are offered by suppliers to accommodate unique manufacturer needs. For multi-state operators producing a wide range of pre-rolls, total turn-key solutions provide an alluring ROI. Many large-scale machines are part of an integrable, comprehensive system that allow manufacturers to produce identical pre-rolls whether they are packed in New Jersey with Blue Dream or California with OG Kush. Pre-roll machine suppliers also frequently offer “lite” versions of large-scale machines for micro-manufacturers, craft pre-rolls, and start-ups with limited production capacity. The various methods of industrial pre-roll production all boast their own specific appeal, but the technical features on the machine are what truly define its caliber. 


Choosing a pre-roll machine

A decade after Colorado and Washington legalized adult-use, the recreational and medicinal cannabis market has exploded. Cannabis engineers have demonstrated an incredible ability to innovate and design custom solutions for pre-roll manufacturers. A high-quality pre-roll machine is a significant investment, and businesses looking to expand their operations need to be strategic in their selection. There are numerous and sometimes overwhelming considerations businesses must make before purchasing a pre-roll packing solution. 

Not only do cannabis companies need to consider the size, style, and variation of pre-rolls they want to produce, they should also factor in the scale and future growth of their operation. Boutique dispensaries, medicinal cannabis processors, multi-state operations, and start-up dispensaries all have unique needs. Cannabis consumers are a diverse community and demand a diverse product selection. Whether your business serves a niche customer base or produces an array of pre-roll variations, investing in an adaptable pre-roll machine with capacity for long-term expansion can yield tremendous increases in the profitability of your operation. 

There are three main areas of consideration manufacturers often consider before purchasing a pre-roll machine: automation, customization, and ease of use. Manufacturers may want to ask themselves if they want to tamp, crown, or trim their filled pre-rolls, the various grind sizes and product enhancements they may utilize, and the data analysis they will need to optimize production. The machines on the market also have different life cycles, integration abilities, throughput capacities, certifications, installation services, customer support, and easily adjustable controls. 

There are a few exceptionally innovative machines with technological design that stand out from the numerous knock boxes available for retail. Automated pre-roll machines are a necessity for most manufacturers, but many industrial knocking machines have shortcomings that affect the precision and efficiency of production. Some fail to accurately weigh individual pre-rolls and don’t remove incorrectly packed cones. Others lack key automated features that fine-tune the process and adapt to different production needs. When it comes to profitability, preservation of flower and active compounds is essential. Pre-roll machines can sometimes be messy, which can cause manufacturers to lose valuable product during packing processes. 

Manufacturers may want to consider the expenses of additional equipment needed for customized and varied pre-roll products. Some machines require an array of additional purchases for manufacturers to establish the operation they desire. The design of a machine and the components it requires to reach its maximum throughput can significantly affect its ROI. Fortunately, today’s most advanced machines address these common flaws and offer smart solutions.

The cannabis industry knows GreenBroz as a reliable and high-quality supplier for post-harvest processing equipment, and thanks to innovative engineers, the company is introducing a new technology to its repertoire, an expertly designed pre-roll filling machine called the Holy Roller. 

Upon comprehensive testing, the Holy Roller engineers have demonstrated the machine’s impressive output rate. This technological feat can consistently produce up to 3,000 pre-rolls in a single hour. Instead of a standard rotary table with a square footprint, the Holy Roller increases throughput and consistency with its inline design. The machine also incorporates an active weighing system to lift the cone out of the holder before filling it within .001 of a gram. 

Adaptability and versatility were an important priority for the engineers of the Holly Roller. Not only does the machine feature three different finishing styles, it also automatically senses and removes any incorrectly packed pre-rolls from the production line. paper cone. While the Holy Roller can be integrated with other systems, its accuracy and efficiency is optimized when the flower is processed using the Rise-N-Grind System. To ensure successful installation and accurate training, the same engineers who designed the machine assist customers with the set up of their new purchase in person. In 2022, the Holy Roller will be released for retail and manufacturers will have the opportunity to invest in this highly accurate and productive machine.


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