At just 26 years old, Tony Greenhand is considered the master of artistic joint rolling. From smokable renditions of Pokemon and popular superheroes, to birds and dinosaurs, there is virtually no shape that he couldn’t roll a joint into.
Greenhand has been a crafty guy for as long as he can remember, but he wasn’t always good at rolling joints. His first attempt, as a teen living in rural Washington state, was a total disaster. It was supposed to be a basic cone-shaped joint, but after living too much saliva on the rolling paper, it turned out hideously deformed. He remembers feeling pretty humiliated, but he didn’t let the experience bring him down. He bought an ounce of weed and spent an entire weekend rolling up every last bit of it. By Sunday night, he had mastered the conical joint, but that was only the beginning.
After dropping out of high-school, Tony became more involved in the underground weed business, and his reputation for perfect rolls made him the go-to guy for joints among his grower friends. He soon started experimenting with more complex shapes, and he says that his first creation was a “non-spectacular” rocket. Soon he was creating alligator or dragon-shaped joints, and after a friend urged him to post a photo of a pipe-shaped joint on Reddit – a site he had never even heard of – he managed to blow the minds of potheads who never knew artistic joint rolling was actually a thing.
Photos of his creations started spreading online, weed magazines from around the country were trying to get in touch with him and his inbox was getting flooded with requests for custom joints. Before he even knew what was going on, Tony Greenhand had become a professional joint roller.
The 26-year-old artist admits that he’s “considered one of the best joint-rollers in the world”, but there are many in the weed business who say the unique niche wouldn’t even exist without him, and that his talent is unrivaled. “In a way, what Monet was to Impressionism, Tony is to the art of joint rolling,” Barry Bard, a cannabis consultant based in Denver, Colorado, told Vocativ. “It wouldn’t exist without him.”
Tony has created special joints for a number of celebrities, including rappers B.o.B., The Flatbush Zombies and B-real of Cypress Hill, but says he will roll one for whoever reaches out to him online. Delivering them is the tricky part, as he can’t simply can’t put the joints in the mail or have them delivered by UPS. Clients have to meet him in Oregon, pay to have him come to them or accept a hollowed out shell that they can then fill with their own weed.
His going rate is $50 an hour, which is decent for simplistic artworks that take less than an hour to make, but for complex creations, the cost can really add up. Like this set of fully smokeable miniature weapons he sold for $7,000. This was his biggest paycheck yet, but he has been known to sell his works for over $1,000 in the past. Although he doesn’t like to reveal exactly how much he earns by rolling joints professionally, he admits it’s enough “to live comfortably”.
Recreational marijuana was legalized in four U.S. states, which makes Greenhand’s art not exactly legal in the rest, but he says he doesn’t concern himself with that stuff. “If I focused on all the crap I wouldn’t get anywhere,” Tony says. “At the end of the day, I don’t hurt anybody. Maybe I want to make a 10-pound joint next, OK? Or maybe I’ll make one that weights 15 pounds. It’s going to get smoked either way. And I bet I can smoke it faster than you can find out about it.”
“Who can say they roll joints for a living,” Tony concludes. “It doesn’t even sound real when I say it.”
Photos: Tony Greenhand