| There are lots of rolling
papers. Rolling papers everywhere. There are hemp, flax, rice, cellulose, palm leaf, and
even papers made out of tobacco leaves. Most are indistinguishable from one another, once
lit. Some like 'em wide, some like 'em long. Some like 'em sheer and some like 'em thick.
No two people I have ever met have precisely the same reaction to papers and the real
reason one brand excels over another in sales has probably much more to do with
visibility, availability, and cover design rather than quality. Price is certainly a
factor to many so one can be fairly confident that the more leaves one puts into a
similarly priced package, the more successful the paper can be. Gizeh, for example, still
remains the bargain leader in putting 100 papers in a single double-section pack and 50
leaves in a single compartment pack. And their papers are only slightly more than other
less generous brands. Rizla regular blues are really popular because their price is very
low and the quality is very good. Everybody knows Zig-Zags. So what do you do when
suddenly you run into a box of papers that has ten feet of paper on a single roll? How do you compare and subsequently market something like that. We found just such a
box of papers finally at the ITE (International Tobacco Expo) in April of
this year in Las Vegas. Actually, we were made aware of the existence of such continuous
roll papers shortly after we opened our little experimental store (see this issue's Editorial
section). We found from opening day that many young folks (over 18 of course) and
quite a few older ones come to our tobacco store looking for things to use in the smoking
of substances other than tobacco. While we are personally not prudish about pot,
professionally we find it counter-productive to allow any relationship between tobacco
products and things illicitly herbal in nature to blossom in our retail environment.
Consequently, when we were asked about papers that came on a continuous roll, we initially
figured this was some new kind of 'head" toy for rolling big "bombers".
When we arrived at the ITE, we saw a booth representing the RS Rolls continuous roll
papers. We took a look at them and found the paper in these little boxes to be quite cool and well made.
AND more importantly, the ability to pull and neatly tear off as much
paper as you need for whatever length cigarette you wish to roll (we generally use the
Rizla 100mm roller or the Chills 100) so we can roll anything from 110 to 70mm. Bottom
line these papers, available in two widths, are GREAT for rolling tobacco. Since we've had
them in the store they have sold to far more people for tobacco than other uses. Now, once
again a little reality here. No tobacco shop is going to sell rolling papers of any kind
that will only be used for tobacco (it really is none of our business how our customers
use any of our products, though we do encourage moderation in all things) and the
demographic age of 21 to 40 likely is a major constituent of most tobacco shops (certainly
ones that emphasize RYO/MYO) clientele. These
papers are manufactured in Germany and represented in this country by NBSP, Inc, of
Stafford, Texas. Now not all distributors carry or even have heard of these fine paper
rolls so we share their number for those retailers who wish to find a source. It is (800)
842-8566. HBI (see their banner ad below) also carries them AND most other papers on the
planet. While not a big seller yet in our environment, we think the potential is good for
a unique keystone possible product for the retailer in high tax states who needs a lot of
little extra profit enhancing items. We like them.
Also from the same company and importer comes an outstanding hemp rolling paper known as Hempire. These things fly out of our store and we have yet to have a negative comment either there or from our readers. They are not too thin, nor too thick and are priced reasonably with great packaging panache. Completely neutral in flavor with just the right amount of gum, these hemp sheets come in 1.25 and 1.5 width sizes, each 78mm long. The display box, which comes free with each box of papers, (as most papers do) is really a very good attention-getter in POS positions. We have found the 1.25 width to be more popular as the rolling public in our area seems to be pretty adept at hand rolling. The wider ones are more suited to the novice roller or to those who want a really FAT cigarette. Again, a very good keystone product with very good supply lines and availability.
Every so often HBI (see ad below) surprises us with yet another sampling of rolling papers. We have reviewed dozens in the past two years from this single source. They really do have just about every paper imaginable. This time it was the ZEN paper shown at right. These papers are all 1.5's and unusually smooth and silky for a pure hemp paper. They are made in Spain. They have cute little Zen sayings which for true believers are probably nice little reminders for "Zen and the Art of Smoking". Perhaps a bit much, but the papers are outstanding and are priced right in the same range as most premium papers and less than some of the bigger names. We have yet to find a paper from HBI we did not like, save the very popular (on college campuses) Camouflage design and one Watermelon flavored offering that had too many seeds. The more ink on a paper, the more the taste is affected, so we tend to like papers in their purer form. We are not in the majority on this issue, especially with the younger crowd, so retailers know your audience (clientele) and let them dictate, to a reasonable degree, what you stock. Your personal preferences in a retail environment might end up costing you profit. - Doug
See ya next time - RYO
|EDITOR'S NOTE: These reviews are solely for the convenience of people of legal age who already smoke, are trying to cut down on smoking, wish to spend less money on their smoking, want to roll their own cigarettes from high quality tobacco, and, in general, wish to have a far more satisfying, and economical smoking experience when compared with smoking pre-manufactured cigarettes. We, in no way, encourage people to smoke. Further, we prescribe to a sane, more logical approach to smoking that involves common sense as to quantity coupled with a strong desire to manage the habit until it becomes an occasional, freely chosen, diversion, that can be fully enjoyed with minimal health risks. Finally, we strongly encourage those who do smoke to take it outdoors, or to appropriate environments where tobacco can be enjoyed away from those who do not smoke, most especially children. We do not sell tobacco or related products from this site; We distribute information about our perceptions of the quality of what is available and where it can be obtained. If you are under 18, it is illegal to buy tobacco and you should immediately exit this site. If you do not smoke, it would seem illogical to start.|
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