A Day In The Life Of A Professional Joint Roller
What's it like to get paid to roll joints? Weed just had to find out.
Editor's note: This article was written before the Covid-19 pandemic. We strongly advise against sharing a joint among friends and we encourage social distancing, but by all means, roll on!
Just a few years ago, it would be hard to imagine that rolling joints would be considered a "profession," let alone actually getting paid for it.
In the last year, the U.S. government has put out two official searches for professional joint-rolling positions for supposed "research" purposes. One digital magazine claimed that in 2015, American Rapper Waka Flocka Flame offered $50,000 a year for someone to be his full-time joint roller. The role is in demand.
But what exactly does it take to work as a professional joint roller?
Meet Kristen Kyle Ginn, High Priestess/Senior Witch/Senior Designer (her official title), of the high-end headshop Flower by Edie Parker. Ginn worked in the fashion industry for ten years before moving into the cannabis industry.
"My job is something different every day," says Ginn. The lucky cannabis entrepreneur is responsible for everything from attending design meetings, product sketching, CAD-ing art and creating white-glove acrylic items for Celebs and VIP clients.
The most auspicious part of her job? Rolling joints for exclusive Flower by Edie Parker parties, where invitees can approach her at the cannabis roll bar and watch her in action.
Ginn rolls a perfect joint while enlightening consumers about their various strains. She helps create cannabis tasting menus, choosing the perfect flavor and effect combinations— something that Flower by Edie Parker takes very seriously.
When asked what her previous experience in the cannabis industry is, Ginn says, "If dating a dealer counts, I guess I had a previous job in cannabis." No classes or certifications are necessary for the coveted role.
"My technique is really self-taught. I didn't start smoking weed until I was 22, and didn't start again till 25. I learned how to properly roll from my current boyfriend who I think is a total gold star joint roller," Ginn says.
Ginn's joint-rolling technique and process
- Pick the cutest paper you can find.
- Make sure your filter is rolled tightly (I usually make an "M" with my filter paper and roll around it.)
- Crumble your paper to make it easier to roll.
- Start rolling from the filter tip up.
- Good rolling takes practice, anything that makes it easier for you should be added to the list.
We had Ginn keep a diary for a day, including her design duties and prep for a Flower by Edie Parker Party.
This is what a day in the life of a joint roller looks like.
I actually wake up pretty early — I love a relaxing morning of Yin Yoga (Yoga by Kassandra on YouTube, not motivated enough to go to a class) and a couple of bong rips gets me ready to go in the AM.
I usually roll a few joints before leaving for the day: essential [tools] include my flower rolling tray (shameless but I swear its the best) as well the cutest round wooden grinder from Alcove, the best smoke shop in NYC.
I use Flower rolling papers (or Juicy Jays!) and our Flower tamping stick. I'm usually my own guinea pig because I am a heavy user, so I love concepting and trying out our new gadgets. I usually change my outfit three times (thanks, weed brain!) and am out the door by 9.
Aesthetics are everything. We brainstorm rolling paper designs and patterns well in advance in creative design meetings. Our bestselling rolling paper features our signature flower motif, and are super thin for an easy roll. For our special events, we've also created limited edition designs like red striped paper for our "Best Buds' holiday party with Kacey Musgraves and heart adorned paper for Valentine's Day.
If I'm rolling for an Edie Parker party, the papers are perfect so the joints should be too. Not too thick, looking for approx 6mm in diameter (rolling a tight filter is really the key here) and a clean tie off. I prefer to fold the edges of the paper on top instead of twisting off, although, in a pinch, I'll twist!
Time to grab a quick bite to eat.
We recently moved our flagship NY store from Madison Avenue to Bond Street, and I love exploring the new eateries in the area. As a rule of thumb, I usually don't roll in public. Rolling on the go seems like a no-no to me (mostly because I'm clumsy and I KNOW I'll dump the flower out on to the street accidentally).
I find pieces of weed in my pockets, in my folded laundry, on my cat... I carry a small atomizer with me containing Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay perfume to spritz after a smoke sesh. No one has ever said anything — mostly I just get approached for a hit.
My afternoon usually starts with a design meeting. We're reviewing new products in these meetings, giving status updates, presenting new ideas, reviewing flavor profiles and strains for any upcoming cannabis launch.
Ahead of an event, I create cannabis tasting menus with a full list of effects and terpenes, and a recommendation on what it could help with (anxiety, pain, relaxation, arousal, etc.). I really REALLY suggest that people start learning the terpenes in the strains that they like—and start tailoring their own weed experience. Taking more responsibility and knowing what you're smoking is very important.
I think the biggest thing to deal with when rolling for a large crowd is preparation. You don't want to be caught with a line of people waiting for joints because you didn't prep before. Start with a HUGE amount of joints and continue to roll — you'll definitely underestimate how many people want one.
The weirdest thing I've encountered is people taking handfuls and handfuls of prerolls to throw in their bag — don't be that person. It's totally uncool and if people are waiting for joints you look like a jerk.
One at a time, please!
Pre-party prep, getting stock ready for the initial wave of folks. We usually hire another roller as well to supplement the number of joints we'll need.
As lead creative for Flower, I help pick the actual strains that we pack into jars to sell. So obviously, I would choose our most current, freshest strains for tasting. For a party in NYC, we roll our CBD flower or a Sacred Heart Chakra smoking blend, sourced from Anima Mundi in Greenpoint. These can be a little seedy and stem-y, so giving some extra time for clearing the hemp flower before rolling is a big part of this.
INVEST IN A GOOD GRINDER! Tamping tools are always on deck — I love using my Flower stick (which doubles as a roach clip- so clever!).
Guests start to arrive around 6, and I'm off! The waitstaff carries around joints like old-timey cigarette girls. I usually grab a cocktail, say hi to whoever is at the party (past guests have included Fran Drescher, Kacey Musgraves, and Trixie Mattel--SWOON) and head back to rolling. Keeping up with the flood—especially if I'm partaking myself— is KEY.
The first thing I'll do is fill up my bong, take a hit, and relax on the couch. I usually put on a movie — my current obsession is The Love Witch — Seriously suggest watching while elevated. My boyfriend is an aspiring chef, so I am a spoiled little brat that gets a delicious meal almost every night. The nights he doesn't cook we usually order delivery (shoutout to Caviar!) or scrounge for a "snack dinner" which is perfectly paired with another bong hit.