Is it possible for one person to roll 30 million joints in their lifetime? Definitely not, but Kyle Loucks has accomplished the closest thing to it.
Loucks is the Founder and CEO of RollPros, and designer of the Blackbird, the world’s first and only commercial-scale automated joint roller. This incredible piece of technology pumps out premium-quality straight joints that are actually rolled, compared to cone-style joints that are stuffed from the top.
“Unfortunately, the manufacturing technology available was only capable of producing what any real joint smoker would consider a poor product. So I decided to create a product that could consistently produce joints meeting my personal standards, as a long-time smoker and joint-rolling enthusiast,” Loucks says.
Pre-Rolls Surge in Popularity
Cannabis consumers have increasingly gravitated toward pre-roll purchases during the past couple years, allowing the product category to command a larger share of many maturing markets. According to BDSA’s retail sales tracking data, infused pre-rolls made up 4% of total cannabis sales in Q4 2022 and 35% percent of total pre-roll sales in Q1 2023 (up 15% from Q1 2020), across BDSA’s tracked markets in the U.S.
How the Blackbird Works
The Blackbird can adeptly roll joints using fresh, resinous cannabis that burns properly and provides an optimal smoking experience for the consumers. It utilizes its patented TruRoll technology to roll joints and can make up to 750 joints per hour.
TruRoll is one of the key features that separate the Blackbird from all other automated joint rolling machines. An important industry advancement, TruRoll technology is a proprietary radial compaction method that delivers uniform, even-density pre-rolled joints. It mimics the compaction used when a joint is rolled by hand. You can even change the amount of tension in the rolling process, creating a denser or looser fill based on the strain used, product specs and consumer demand.
Streamlining the Joint-Rolling Process
Loucks notes that people often underestimate the complexity involved in the diversity of strains when it comes to rolling joints. This is especially apparent if you’re still filling cones, as each strain, with its varying properties, needs unique settings and adjustments to create the best possible joint.
“The Blackbird streamlines this challenge through user-friendly settings that can be saved as a recipe, expediting the process when dealing with the same strain in the future. Rolling one great joint by hand isn’t so hard if you’re experienced. Rolling 750+ great joints per hour – that’s an entirely different kind of challenge. And, in our opinion, we are the only company that has solved it,” Loucks says.
Mistakes to Avoid in Pre-Roll Manufacturing
To help improve your business’s pre-roll manufacturing, Louks advises against using subpar material. Pre-rolls often serve as the initial introduction to a new customer, offering a crucial opportunity to establish a positive impression.
Unfortunately, the days of simply winning because you have a high-quality product are over. Cannabis businesses and dispensaries need to realize that they need much more than a great product in competitive markets. The brand, the packaging and sustainability all add to the experience. And they all need to be dialed in to succeed.
“I would advise prioritizing your focus in the following sequence: first, concentrate on the quality of your flower. Then invest in your team and refine your processes. And finally, think about profitability. It’s a common mistake for businesses to reverse this order, but following this approach yields better outcomes in the long run,” Loucks says.