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Rise Of The Cannabis Machines: Efficiency, Scale, And Stainless Steel

Pictured: PreRoll-Er

“What could take an hour or more now takes only a few minutes.”

It’s been more than a month since the New England Cannabis Convention held its 10-year anniversary summit in Boston, and the impact is still resonating—not just in terms of companies reacting to the new consumer trends on full display, but also in how people respond to seeing what the future holds up close and in person.

Agriculture’s always been a game of innovation, from the tractor to the Farmers’ Almanac. And in countless ways, cannabis is using and adopting brilliant developments first tooled for other crops. But with new markets opening every few months and global demand for weed on the rise, there’s a ton of action happening in this immediate space, in the name of selling marijuana in its many forms.

At the Hynes Convention Center during NECANN, the trade show floor was filled with mesmerizing new cannabis tech—some of which has been improved over the past few years, and some of which is only showing up in stashes, grows, and manufacturing facilities in 2024. From germination gadgets to automated vape-filing machines that assemble hundreds of carts at a time, companies are focusing on home growers and small producers while also developing industry-changing automation. Here are some standouts …  


This major force returned for yet another round of NECANN this year to show off its flagship machine, the PreRoll-er 200, which can twist about 1,300 prerolls per hour. The Montreal-based company also produces a 400 model that can churn out up to 2,600 prerolls an hour, the amount it would take between 20 and 28 humans to roll in an entire shift.

According to PreRoll-er Marketing Director Francis Foucault-Bouchard, the machine works with cones, blunts, and straight tubes, and can be adapted to roll joints from .25 to 3 grams. Procepack, which started in 2012, launched PreRoll-Er in 2018 to serve the industry, but has seen its business explode in the last two years as more states have legalized cannabis.

“We expect even bigger sales with the Europe opening as well,” Foucault-Bouchard told Talking Joints Memo. “The preroll is the only product that has grown in the cannabis market. The flowers are still the leader but the prerolls are getting closer and closer. Automation is the right way to do it because it’ll increase your production and allow you to create more consistent products.”

Foucault-Bouchard said that from his company’s perspective, East Coast cannabis is thriving, while the West Coast is suffering. “We’re currently looking to conquer the European market while establishing our place as a leader in North America,” he said.


In the early days of California company Jetty Extracts, the founders sometimes used leftover plastic syringes to inhale dabs. But while that provided some convenience, there was also frequent frustration, since plastic melts if it gets too close to the hot nail.

Looking for solutions, they disassembled lip-gloss applicators and fixed pieces together, eventually creating the first iteration of the Dablicator, an oil applicator that is as easy to use as a retractable pencil. In 2020, the brand was spun out as its own separate company focusing on building versatile hardware for concentrate companies everywhere. In Massachusetts, Green Gold Group, Superflux, and Berkshire Roots, among others, offer Dablicator products.

This year, Dablicator unveiled its 4.0 version with 25 mg dosing lines and an elegant stainless-steel metal tip. According to Alex Kemper-McCall, the company’s director of sales and marketing, consumers can expect even larger sizes over the summer, “with 2.5 gram and 4 gram sizes in the works.” He said the move follows the trend of dabs becoming more available and less intimidating, largely due to the proliferation of e-rigs.

“Companies like Puffco, Dab X, and Focus V are bringing traditional dabbing into the cannabis consumption mainstream,” Kemper-McCall added, “and smaller brands like Dip Devices and Boundless are offering more affordable dab pen and nectar collector options.”

Noting a shift towards solventless products in the market driving innovation in extractions, he added, “Scaling solventless production is the key to meeting consumer demand, yet solventless production remains an art and science. I see ‘mass’ or scaled production and craft production being meaningful to people, which leaves space for both larger and smaller brands to create products that people love.”

Kief Sweeper

Eric West spent decades working in the advertising industry before retiring to St. Augustine, Florida, where he became a handyman, mostly hanging ceiling fans. For years, he looked for a way into the cannabis industry. After West hurt his neck in 2023, he took the plunge, creating the Kief Sweeper, which debuted at NECANN 2024 and became available for purchase online on 4/20.

We’ve seen a lot of grinders, many with their own special merits. But the Keif Sweeper is unique in how it tackles what might be the least-addressed problem with most grinders—how they jam. It’s simple—just brush your gears with this tool like you brush your teeth. Do it after every couple twists, and you’ll avoid having to cut the resin away with a boxcutter only for it to stick again soon after. The Kief Sweeper comes with a built-in grinder or in a brush-only model for those who want to keep their favorite old set of fangs clean for a change.


As an amateur cultivator, Westport, Mass native Don Felizberto said he always found the germination process a bit daunting. All the soak jars, multiple baggies with wet paper towels and labels to keep track of, not to mention transferring seeds from one to another—it was overwhelming.

“One year, I would have great germination success, and the next not so much, even though the process was the same,” he said. “I invented Cannakan as an easy, consistent, and organized way to germinate multiple varieties of seeds. I wasn’t looking to invent a product, just create a solution for challenges and inconsistencies myself and others experience.”

Felizberto said he started with a FrogTape container and created a pie-shape divider on his son’s 3D printer. That evolved into a compact system that separates seeds into individual partitions that also allow you to soak and germinate without having to handle them from one process to the next.

A partition reference chart is included in the kit to keep track of seed position, and Felizberto said most quality seeds that are planted between 24 and 48 hours have high germination rates using Cannakan. During the germination step that follows soaking, only a small amount of water is left in the outer canister, creating a convection and keeping seeds from drying out.

“A seed needs to rehydrate and can only absorb so much water; if left to soak too long, you risk drowning your seeds. They need oxygen too,” Felizberto said. “That’s where that convection comes into play, keeps seeds from drying out in a humid environment with plenty of oxygen. Textbook conditions yield textbook results. What could take an hour or more now takes only a few minutes.”

After years of struggling with tweezers and other ill-fitting utensils, Felizberto also created a set of cupped seed pinchers called Huggers. Fashioned with cupped ends for easily handling seeds without the risk of contamination or damage, they also have a dibber end on the opposing side so you can prepare the soil prior to dropping the seed in the ground.

Currently, the company is working on a bigger version of the Cannakan, called the Tra, which Felizberto said will be capable of transitioning more than 1,000 seeds from storage and germination into early plant growth.

Xylem Technologies 

Here’s an interesting one that came from outside of the immediate cannabis space. Xylem got started in 2009, creating precision pumping equipment for the biotech industry. In 2014, the Texas-based company mainstreamed into consumer products including handling the temperature control on sous vide machines for home chefs. In 2020, Xylem made the leap into the cannabis market, creating several products including a preroll infuser and a state-of-the-art cart-filling machine which sorts and caps vapes plus an automatic concentrate-dispensing apparatus designed for diamonds and sauce.