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Cannabis pre-rolls are among the top selling products (with appealing profit margins) for many Canadian retailers and producers, which conveys consumers’ willingness to pay up for convenience rather than opting to roll their own joints.

But now there is a new grinding and joint-making accessory all rolled into one that pot smokers have set their sights on, which means they will increasingly purchase loose flower and paper cones.

U.S.-based Banana Bros. invented what it calls the first smart milling device, with patent-protected technology that has been made into The OTTO. This all-in-one cone-making device has a battery-operated motorized grinder that harnesses sensors to grind cannabis buds to the desired and uniformed size, and then fills one cone at a time without dropping pieces of flower. When the handheld milling system senses resistance the blades adjust accordingly to varying degrees of stickiness, dryness and size.

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“It has a spring-loaded bottom and senses if it’s too sticky. It will increase in torque or keep at a minimal torque,” said Mario Montano, who does sales and marketing for Banana Bros.

“It’s great for people who have arthritis or are outside.”

The OTTO smart milling device, shown at the MJBizCon show in Las Vegas in December, 2019.

The OTTO sells for a retail price of US$129 in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and South Africa, Mr. Montano said.

And then there is the growing business of cones. There is a growing number of companies to choose from, with offerings ranging from a variety of papers, tips, and the option for cannabis producers and retailers to have them customized with brand logos.

Custom Cones USA, for example, was surrounded by a steady crowd of potential B2B customers at MJBizCon in Las Vegas in December, 2019. With five types of paper to choose from – refined white, natural brown, 100 per cent organic hemp, hemp-wrapped blunt cones and cordia leaf – it also offers glass, spiral, wood and hemp tips. The variety offered by this young Tacoma, Wash.-based company that was established in 2017, speaks to the potential for brands to differentiate their cone and pre-roll products.

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