Study: More Blunt Wraps Sold in Legal Marijuana Markets


Today we’re discussing a small research study with potentially large implications for the health, marijuana, and other industries. We ask: Are more blunt wraps sold where marijuana is legal? Also, what does this mean for the cannabis industry? What are changing perceptions and attitudes towards cannabis laws really affecting? Do some changes increase the risk of damage? Do They Discount Concerns? Are you reorganizing your knowledge of health? Does this affect the amount of thought you put into a decision?

Talk about a “meet the blunt” question …

Blunts: The American spliff

The rolling of sheet into sheet or paper – what we now know as joints, blunt or spliff – has spread and adopted in cultures from Taiwan to Tallahassee. The introduction of rolled tobacco, commonly known as cigarettes, is a phenomenon with popularity that arose in the 16th century when numerous European powers tried to consolidate resources from distant lands.

This was the European period of imperialism. The ability to grow, ignite and inhale tobacco was first discovered in America.

While whistles were found in cultures that ruled the world hundreds of years before imperialist movements, the rolling of plant material in leaves was an innovation in America.

A blunt cannabis is wrapped in tobacco leaves. So I ask: What evolutionary and cultural forces led to the combined consumption of a smoked substance and another?

In Europe, it is common for the mixture of cannabis and tobacco to be rolled in a paper. In the US, tobacco leaves are more likely to be used than paper, rather than tobacco being put in the paper. Exempt cigarillos most often fulfill this function.

Man passes by bluntly

Cigarillos are inexpensive, small to medium-sized cigars that are often available in packs of 2 or 3. They come in numerous brands, styles, and flavors. Frequently, consumers remove tobacco from cigarillos by carefully tearing the wrapper, emptying the tobacco, and replacing it with cannabis. To close the cigarillo or wrap again, the wrap is licked along the previously cut seal seam.

National averages and recreational outliers of blunt wraps sold

The study published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence entitled “Cigarillo Sales in Legalized Marijuana Markets in the United States” was published in February 2018. The analysis was conducted using 2016 Nielsen market data collected on tobacco purchases in various store formats. These include gas stations, liquor stores, supermarkets, and other tobacco merchants.

Data from the legal marijuana markets of Denver, Seattle, and Portland helped with this blunt study. Researchers ruled out the Black & Mild brand and concluded that they are rarely used to make blunts.

Main Findings: Denver

In 2016, Denver cigarillos and wraps sales were $ 19.9 million. Cigarillo wraps (the wraps themselves without tobacco) sold 300 percent higher than the national average (11.4 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively).

Swisher branded packages with two or three counts and blunt packaging were sold at 34.8 percent and 28.1 percent, 6.7 percent above the national average.

The average price per package (two or three count) in Denver was similarly 19 percent higher than the national average ($ 1.61 and 1.33).

Key takeaways: Seattle

In 2016, the number of cigarillos and blunt wraps sold in Seattle was $ 25.71 million.

Unlike Denver, the sales volume of wraps (unfilled) was 112 percent of the national average of 2.8 percent.

Like Denver, Seattle surpassed the national average for Swisher-branded blunt wraps sold. While the national average is 28.1 percent, Swisher branded products account for 59.1 percent of all cigarillos sales in Seattle.

Woman smokes a blunt

The average package price in Seattle is $ 1.67, which is 126 percent of the national average of $ 1.33.

Main Findings: Portland

Portland cigarillos sales totaled $ 11.97 million in 2016.

Like both Denver and Seattle, Portland sold more cigarillos than the national average, but only 0.2 percent.

Swisher branded blunt wraps sold over 175 percent of the national average, accounting for 52.1 percent of all cigarette sales, while the national average is 28.1 percent.

Portland has the highest cost per package of any market observed. The median price in Portland is $ 1.92, a 31 percent markup.

The learning curve and public health

When tobacco and marijuana are consumed together, as is the case with blunts and spliffs, the health consequences are not well understood; the long-term effects have received little or no scientific research.

So where do we go from here?

Studying the number of blunt wraps sold in legal marijuana states is only part of a larger effort to monitor public health and anti-smoking initiatives. Despite evidence that cannabis has minimal long-term effects, the inclusion of tobacco could potentially lead to poorer health outcomes.

In Denver, Portland and Seattle, cigarillos and blunt wraps sold exceeded the national average. The price per package for all three locals was similarly higher than the national average. Finally, Swisher-branded cigarillos and blunt wraps sold above the national average in all markets, nearly doubling in Portland and Seattle.

It is worth watching as the cannabis industry is facing explosive growth and adjustment.


Beth Edmonds