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Pre-Roll Packaging: The Ultimate Guide

Pre-Roll Packaging: The Ultimate Guide

Posted by Custom Cones USA on Oct 12th 2022

Article content updated March 13, 2023

Exceptional packaging is crucial for the success of your pre-roll brand. Not only is the packaging going to keep you compliant in a highly regulated industry, but it is also going to make sure your product stands out from the masses.

Dispensary shelves are filled with a seemingly endless selection of pre-rolls for consumers to try. A pre-roll's packaging is the first thing that grabs the attention of customers, and it is our goal to provide you with everything you need to make sure your pre-roll is the one getting all the attention!

It All Starts with the Pre-Roll

Before there is packaging, there is a pre-roll. In other words, the choices you make in the production of your pre-rolls are going to have a huge impact on your packaging options.

Every decision you make for your packaging, one way or another, will be determined by the size and type of each pre-roll. The amount of flower you plan on putting into each pre-roll is going to play the biggest role in determining the size of your packaging; however, keep in mind that pre-rolls (of the same weight) can vary in size based on the cultivar and how densely they are packed. You also want to make sure to leave a few extra millimeters of room, just in case a pre-roll runs longer than expected.

You do have the option to be creative here. By offering something unique, you can set yourself apart from other producers; however, there is something to be said about what is already working in your pre-roll market. The strongest pre-roll brands offer a wide variety of sizes, types, and styles.

Pre-Roll Packaging Options

Now that you know what size pre-roll and how many pre-rolls per pack you want to offer, you need to make sure they will fit. We have heard countless stories from customers who ordered custom packaging direct from China or India, only to realize the sizing is off and their products do not fit inside. What a nightmare!

In this section, we will briefly go through your options for packaging, but Custom Cones USA is more than just a list of products. Our team of experts is here to guide you through the whole process and work with you to ensure your packaging looks amazing and fits perfectly. So, let’s get into it!

Stock vs Custom Pre-Roll Packaging

One of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether you want/need custom cannabis packaging. If you are doing fully custom packaging, you can tailor it to perfectly fit your products. You are only limited by your imagination; however, custom packaging may not be feasible for new brands just starting out or for smaller, limited-release type products.

At Custom Cones USA, we not only offer fully custom cannabis packaging, but we are proud to also offer the widest array of stock pre-roll packaging options as well! So, if you want to get your project up and running in the shortest time possible, this is going to be your best option.

Stock packaging always has a lower minimum order quantity, way shorter lead times, and much more flexibility. All you need to do is order custom labels and you can have stock packaging looking like custom packaging in no time!

The most popular packaging options utilize both stock and custom aspects of packaging. For example, you can buy stock jars or pre-roll tubes and use custom labels. By avoiding totally custom jars/caps or custom printing directly on the tubes, you keep your supply chain more nimble.

Single Pre-Rolls vs Pre-Roll Multi-Packs

The next thing you need to consider is how many pre-rolls you intend to put into each package. Regardless of whether you want to go with custom packaging or something that’s in stock, Custom Cones USA has everything you need to help make your vision come to life.

Single pre-rolls are a convenient and budget-friendly option for consumers, and, for cannabis shops, they are a great way to inspire impulse purchases. Pre-Rolls are just easy. They are something a consumer will pick up on their way to a concert, hike, or party, and, for producers, they are often the best way to get customers to try your newest brand or strain. The 1 gram pre-roll is still the highest selling pre-roll product across the country!

Multi-packs, on the other hand, are great for retaining customer loyalty. For producers, the larger package size of a multi-pack offers more space for branding opportunities and a way to showcase all your finest strains at once.

While we recommend offering a variety of SKUs to your customers, it can be difficult to know where to start. Some brands might choose to release individual pre-rolls of certain strains before later offering a multi-pack of different strain variety joints or blunts. Others might dive straight into trending cannabis options like offering a five or ten pack of “dogwalker” mini pre-rolls.

If possible, the best route is to offer both single pre-rolls, as well as pre-roll multi-packs. These items will come in a variety of price points, appeal to different customer types, or lend themselves better for certain occasions. In other words, if there is a reason for someone to buy a pre-roll, you have them covered!

Here are a few helpful insights to consider as you are getting started:

  • Nearly 63% of all brands surveyed offer a 1 gram pre-roll, by far the most popular size. Almost half (43%) offer a 0.5 gram joint, and only 18% make a .75 gram joint.
  • Pre-rolls do come in larger and smaller sizes; however, they are not nearly as common.
  • In terms of pack sizes, the single and 2 pack of half gram pre-rolls dominate the budget-conscious market; however, larger multi-packs of smaller pre-rolls (often referred to as “dogwalkers”) are starting to gain popularity.
  • Infused and Connoisseur pre-rolls currently make up 41% of the market for all pre-rolls—having grown from 30% over the past two years.
  • For a more in-depth look at the pre-roll market, be sure to check out our CEO’s (Harrison Bard) presentation at CannaCon.


Your packaging is a direct reflection of your brand and products, so you will want to make sure the packaging materials you choose match your branding and appeal to your customers.

You will find that most companies choose to put at least one of their pre-roll brands inside a plastic, pop-top tube. Made from polypropylene plastic, these tubes are technically recyclable in most locales; however, they can be difficult to recycle properly.

Whereas plastic pop-top tubes are a quick and economic way to pack your pre-rolls, that may not be the message you are looking to tie to your pre-roll brand. For example, if you are making a high-end, infused pre-roll, you may want to package that in a glass tube, so a sense of luxury is conveyed to both budtenders and consumers. We even offer a variety of beautiful caps that will make your pre-rolls pop off the shelf!

If a big part of your branding centers around sustainability and the environment, it's best to stay away from plastic packaging and use something more recyclable. For companies looking for an eco-friendlier option, we offer a wide variety of paper, glass, and tin packaging options, as well as a first-of-its-kind fully compostable and bio-degradable pop-top tube!

Whatever you need your packaging material to say, Custom Cones USA has the customization and stock options to make it stand out in dispensaries!

The Role of Packaging

Now that you have an idea of how you want your packaging to look and feel, it’s time to take a hard look at functionality. As well as speaking to your company's branding, packaging needs to keep the product in good condition/fresh and in compliance with local laws.

Keeping Pre-Rolls Fresh

Thankfully, maintaining the integrity of a pre-roll is pretty straightforward. You are going to want packaging that doesn’t allow the joint to get easily bent/broken, and you want to make sure they can be sealed in a way that will preserve the freshness of the cannabis. In other words, solid packaging ensures that your customers will enjoy your product at its best.

Packaging pre-rolls in a mylar bag may be the cheapest route possible, but the flexibility of these bags could lead to pre-rolls getting smashed in transit or after your customers purchase them. Although mylar bags are great oxygen and moisture barriers, they do give off the appearance of a cheap or discount pre-roll product.

For additional moisture assurance, especially for longer-term items like pre-roll multi-packs or for long-term storage of hemp wrap cones, we recommend pairing your product with moisture/humidity packs like the Boveda humidity packs or these mini humidity regulator packs.

In order to keep paper packaging sealed fresh – we highly recommended utilizing our overwrapping machine to seal your pre-roll multi-packs just like a pack of cigarettes, tea, or perfume would come. The biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) material is a high moisture and oxygen barrier, meaning it keeps moisture locked in and keeps oxygen out, with the end result of keeping your pre-rolls fresh! We also offer shrink wrap options, which is easier and cheaper, but less effective as a moisture and oxygen barrier.

Pre-Roll Packaging Compliance

Compliance, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. The biggest issue is that there aren’t universal laws that govern the cannabis industry. Your requirements for compliance are going to be unique to your area, so be sure to do your due diligence before finalizing your packaging.

If you are in the US or Canada, be sure to check out our blogs on compliance in your area. If you’d rather speak with a professional, feel free to give us a call and let our compliance experts walk you through your options. We know that, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how good your branding looks or how well it smokes. If it’s not compliant, nobody can try it.

Child-Resistant & Tamper-Evident Packaging
When it comes to compliance with pre-rolls, most laws revolve around two ideas. The first is that certain information must be displayed on the packaging. This is typically things like cannabinoid content, total weight of cannabis material, or warning labels. This is easily accomplished, as your only obstacle is finding a place for it on the packaging.

The second has to do with the accessibility of the product. For example, some states require that items have tamper-evident packaging. What this means is that, in order for a customer to access the product, they must first break a factory seal. As a producer, you are required to put this on the products in certain states. It’s designed to give customers the assurance that their product has not been tampered with after it left your facility. For pre-rolls, this typically looks like a plastic wrap or sticker over the opening.

Other states require packaging to be child-resistant. In other words, your products can’t be too easy to open. Thankfully, packaging comes with or without child-resistant certification, so all you really need to do is find one that has the proper certification; however, this does not mean you do not need to put any effort into figuring out the right option.

If you’ve had any experience with child-resistant technology (CR), you will probably know that sometimes it can feel like person-resistant technology. Some CR packaging is going to be easier to open than others, and not everyone is similarly abled. For example, cannabis is often a way people that suffer from arthritis find relief. Will they be able to open your package?

You are also going to have to consider if your product can remain child resistant after it has been opened. For example, our Push Pack is child-resistant each time you open and close it, but some brands prefer a cigarette style box. This type of box can be made child-resistant by being sealed in a mylar bag; however, once the seal is broken, there is no going back. In some states, this will take a product out of compliance.

In short, be sure to spend some time thinking these things through! We offer a variety of packaging (multi-packs, pre-roll tubes, and tops) that’ll meet your CR needs as well as the needs of your customers. You’ll have options for how the package opens, if it can be resealed, and, of course, you’ll have all the options you need to make sure it looks amazing! We’re always happy to send you samples to test for yourself, so feel free to reach out any time.

Compliance in Design Compliance laws can even put demands on the color and/or opaqueness of your packaging. For example, in many states it is illegal for your pre-roll packaging to be see-through. Thankfully, this is not a big issue when it comes to finding a solid packaging option. Sure, you won’t be able to use clear packaging, but there are plenty of opaque color options in most packaging types to meet your brand’s needs, like our matte white or black glass tubes or even mirror finish gold or silver glass tubes.

Some states have even stricter requirements. New Mexico, for example, requires packaging to be made of compostable, recyclable, or recycled materials, and Vermont demands that all cannabis products be packaged in reusable, non-plastic materials. The best bet here is a paper or bio-degradable pre-roll tube.

Lastly, most states are going to have laws that govern your branding choices. Like other regulated industries (alcohol and tobacco), you won't be able to use imagery that is considered appealing to children. This means that you won’t be able to use things like cartoon characters in your branding.

Probably the most frustrating thing about compliance laws, wherever you live, is that they tend to change quickly and with little notice. A new law can come through that suddenly takes you out of compliance. So, even though you have access to our experts here at Custom Cones USA, be sure to stay in touch with your local governing bodies to make sure you stay up to date on any changes in the laws.

Overview of Stock Pre-Roll Packaging Options

Your packaging should reflect your brand’s messaging, not fight against what you are trying to say (or sell). Here at Custom Cones USA, we aim to be a one stop shop for everything pre-roll, and that means a wide variety of custom options for pre-rolls and packaging options for every customer.

Now for the fun part!

Spend some time looking over your packaging options and start piecing your vision together. Take all the legal demands and data from the market, inject your preferences, and create something you and your customers will love! And if you need any help or want samples to feel and test out, we’re always here to help.

Stock Paper Packaging Options

  • Push Packs: The most customizable of our packaging options. Push Packs come stock in plain black and white and have a CR-compliant silicone tab closure. We can customize every element of the Push Packs—from the inner and outer images to the inner dividers and trays. We can even add special touches like gold foil and UV spot printing. We can also offer Push Packs in recyclable paper and with eco-friendly cardboard CR tabs instead of silicone. Our stock Push Packs come in multiple sizes from a 3 pack to a 10 pack.
  • Pull Packs: Our Pull Packs are a true luxury packaging option, and it even has the benefit of being easy-to-open. You can get these Pull Packs in black or white (stock) directly from our warehouse, or we can set you up with a custom printed Pull Pack. Keep in mind this option is not child-resistant; however, if you place in a child-resistant sealed mylar bag, this may be enough in most states.
  • Cigarette Packs: Our custom Cigarette Packs are sure to catch the eye of any customer looking to invest in a multi-pack. We can print in full color and add extra touches like gold embellishments or UV spot add-ons. If you’re looking for something ready to go, we offer unbranded black cigarette boxes that can hold five 70mm or 84mm pre-rolls. Cigarette boxes are not certified child-resistant, but they can be placed in a CR mylar pouch to comply in states that do not require their pre-roll packaging to be CR each time it is opened and closed.

Stock Tin Packaging Options

  • Slider Tins: Child-resistant and easy to open for adults, our Slider Tins are perfect for multi-packs! They come stock in black, white, and silver and are ready to pair with your personal branding.
  • Retro Flip Tins: Retro Flip Tins may look like a blast from the past, but there is nothing outdated about these 100% recyclable tins. We offer them in three colors (black, white, silver) and two different sizes. These tins pair perfectly with pre-roll organizer inserts to keep cones in place and are certified Child Resistant.
  • Button Tins: Button Tins are cute—especially the smaller variety designed to hold 70mm “Dogwalkers.” Offered in glossy black or white in two sizes, the larger button tin also comes in two colors, and we have stock insert options for either size tin.

Stock Plastic Packaging Options

  • Slider Boxes: Slider Boxes are certified CR, and we offer the inner tray portion of these boxes in a variety of ready-to-ship colors! The outer black slider boxes conceal an inner tray that is offered in white, black, red, green, or blue. Keep your pre-roll multi-packs compliant, while choosing from a variety of stylish options.
  • Snap Packs: Snap Packs make an impression. They come in stock black, gold, white, or clear, and we have them in two different sizes. The Slim Snap Pack holds up to three full-gram joints, whereas the larger size holds up to 10 half-gram pre-rolls. All varieties are CR.
  • Flip Packs: The Flip Packs are child resistant, easy to open for those of age, and are made of 100% recyclable plastic. Offered in two different sizes, the Flip Packs also come in clear, black, and white stock.
  • Clamshell Cases: These versatile clamshell plastic cases are made of food-safe polypropylene, making them perfect for not only pre-rolls, but also edibles, concentrates, and other popular dispensary offerings. Get them in classic white and brand them with your own labels— or have us print some for you.
  • Pop-Tops Tubes vs Super Seal Tubes: Our Pop-Top Tubes are both excellent for ensuring airtightness and CR, but for a premium feel and tamper evidence included, we recommend checking out the Super Seal Tubes.

Stock Glass Tube Options

  • Wide vs Standard Tubes: You might need standard tubes for single pre-rolls or wider tubes for multi-packs. Thankfully, we have stock options for both. The wide tube opening is 16.8mm in diameter, compared to the standard 15.8mm width.
  • Matte and Metallic Tubes: If you want a striking option for premium flower, the metallic glass tubes in gold, rose gold, and silver will not be missed on dispensary shelves. These shiny chrome tubes are begging to be re-used by customers and are a great way to ensure more visibility for your brand. For brands looking for something a little more subdued, we offer matte glass tubes in white and black, or can custom make the exact hue you want in this velvety-smooth finish.
  • Alumite Color Caps: Alumite Color Caps are smooth and child resistant. We can make them in any color to perfectly pair with transparent glass tubes. Whether you want a bright purple cap or a rose-gold, we always have a wide variety of stock options ready to ship.
  • Cork and Champagne Style Caps: If you want timeless luxury, you can’t go wrong with a cork or a champagne style cap. Whether you choose a standard or T-top cork, it is sure to pair seamlessly with any branding’s aesthetic. And if you want a more airtight fit and a pleasing “pop” sound to announce the opening of your joints or blunts, you should opt for a champagne cork top!

Pre-Roll Display Options

We don’t just set you up with pre-roll packaging for your joints and blunts here at Custom Cones USA. We are also prepared to set you up with everything you need to keep your pre-rolls looking their best and stand out on dispensary shelves!

  • Display Boxes: Some brands opt for pre-packed boxes of their product to send out to stores. Some retail managers choose to use these boxes on shelves as a display method for extra stock pre-rolls. While we have stock display gravity boxes you can label with your own stickers or other solutions, we can design custom gravity boxes that will be sure to catch budtender and customer’s attention. We also offer standing display boxes for glass tubes that you can customize with a specialized die cut top and foil/holographic accents. Lastly, you can keep your tubes secure with inserts that maintain their upright standing.
  • Dispenser Displays: We are proud to offer acrylic displays that blend in effortlessly with any retail or medical cannabis environment. These highly reusable and versatile acrylic displays come in a short model that holds 50 pop-top tubes, as well as a taller 100-doob-tube capacity acrylic display. These customizable gravity displays come stock clear, so your pre-rolls are what is truly on display.

Secondary Pre-Roll Packaging

Primary packaging is the packaging your product actually goes in and secondary packaging is everything else that enhances your pre-roll packaging. For example, the glass jar or pre-roll tube is your primary packaging, with your label and/or tamper band being elements of secondary packaging. Some luxury brand will even place their entire jar or tube inside a paper box, which adds even more room for branding and elevates the look of your product.

  • Outer Box/Outer Packaging: If you’re looking for something truly memorable, consider one of our premium cigarette-box style products designed to hold multi-packs of cannabis, hemp, tobacco, or other smokable tube products. We can even customize the shape to better accommodate cones!
  • Additional Labels: We have labels for all your pre-roll packaging types. We can print your labels and even help you design them for a reasonable fee! And to ensure they look perfect, we can apply them for you via our label application services.
  • Tamper-Evident Shrink Bands: We offer tamper-evident shrink sleeves that can be custom designed with your branding and add an extra step of compliance to your CR pop-top tubes.

Wrapping Up

Custom Cones USA is a one-stop shop for everything you need to kickstart your next pre-roll project and keep it rolling. We can provide a custom-designed pre-roll packaging option that is not only compliant with your locale’s regulations, but also one that is made to your exact specifications.

Our team of Pre-Roll Experts is here to make sure you can order with confidence—knowing you are getting exactly what you need to make a splash in the market. Still have questions? Feel free to reach out any time, and we can start working with you to breathe some life into your pre-roll production.


Exceptional packaging is crucial for the success of your pre-roll brand. Not only is the packaging going to keep you compliant in a highly regulated industry, but it is also going to make sure your product stands out from the masses.