The days of the stereotypical “pack of papers” are over. Today’s Roll Your Own (RYO) smoker wants more than harmful glues and papers that run. Modern manufacturing techniques and the increasing consumer interest in all-things-natural have fueled the evolution of the rolling paper market. Today, there are a variety of all-natural and organic papers and sugar gums, as well as a plethora of helpful tools (from “pouch” papers to rolling trays and injection machines) to satisfy every type of RYO customer. Let’s check out some of the most popular brands and styles to help you confidently stock for your smoke shop.
Rolling Paper Sizes and Dimensions
- Single: 70mm, or between 1 1/2 inches – 1 3/4 inches wide
- 1 1/4: 78mm or between 1 3/4 inches – 2 1/2 inches wide
- 1 1/2: 79mm or between 2 inches – 3 inches wide
- Double: between 2 1/2 inches – 3 1/2 inches wide
- King Size: 110mm or between 1 1/2 – 2 1/4 inches wide
Rolling Paper Materials
Standard rolling papers are most commonly made from hemp, rice straw, flax, esparto, and wood pulp. Novelty papers are available in cellulose and sometimes even gold (more on that below…).
Types of Novelty Papers
New styles of unique rolling papers have made their way on the scene and appeal to customers who like to roll more than tobacco. The two most popular styles we’ve seen lately are gold papers made from a mix of hemp and gold and clear papers made from plant cellulose. The clear papers are (obviously) the more affordable novelty, and a pack of Trip or Glass clear rolling papers are sold for around $2. Gold papers from the OG brand Shine go for about $15 for a pack of two papers. That’s right… two. Other upgrades from the standard include flavored papers like Juicy Jays, wired papers that come with a roach holder built-in, and pouch papers that make joint-rolling easier. Another best-seller among non-tobacoo smoking clientele is pre-rolled cones. Raw makes cones from natural hemp with a name that customers notice.
There are two main categories of RYO machines: Manual machines and injectors. Both significantly cut time and increase production.
Hand rolling takes time and skill. For customers who prefer to roll their own cigarettes, manual rollers are a cheap and effective way to streamline the process. The machines are often branded by a well-known paper company, creating an easy upsell between the two products. Plus, the tool makes a world of difference to a smoker who prefers to roll their own. It is composed of a plastic frame, two plastic spindles or rollers, and a vinyl sleeve. The sleeve is looped over the spindles and can be changed if it becomes worn.
Over the years modifications have been made to create new and easier manual machines such as the Zen Automatic Roller. Using the same concept as a hand roller, the Zen box uses the motion and force of the lip opening and closing to roll the sleeve through the spindles. This creates a uniformed cigarette every time and creates a talking point as it has a cool and unique feature by having the rolled cigarette pop out the top.
For the serious RYO smoker, machine injectors may be of interest. These RYO products work by literally injecting the tobacco filling into premade, hollow cigarette tubes. There are two main subcategories of machine injectors:
Also known as the staplers for their similar appearance to the office supply, shooters are easy to operate. Raise the upper portion, load the hollow tube over the spindle/needle, load the tobacco in the designated area, pull the top portion down, and out will “shoot” a perfectly compacted, professional-looking cigarette.
- Cigarette Machines
These are heavy-duty metal machines designed to roll thousands of cigarettes. Many come with warranties as these machines have longevity. Load the tobacco in the compartment on top, place the hollow tube over the spindle/needs, then turn the hand cranks to inject and compact the perfect cigarette. Many have the ability to roll multiple sizes.
When stocking papers for your shop, household names like RAW, Zig-Zag, Juicy Jays, OCB, and Pure Hemp mixed with a few novelty styles will definitely satisfy customers.