Hemper Interview: Subscription Boxes, Cannabis, and Community
Hemper is known among smokers and cannabis enthusiasts as a high-quality subscription box for cannabis tools, accessories, pipes, dab tools, and more. With thousands of subscribers nationwide, Hemper has worked to provide both daily essentials and collectible items in its monthly subscriptions. Cannabis.net got to sit down with Hemper.co and find out what the subscription box business is all about!
The story behind Hemper goes far beyond rolling papers and monthly subscriptions, though. It’s a tale of community, thoughtfulness, a passion for the industry and creating elevated experiences for customers.
Here’s what Hemper is really all about…
What is Hemper?
Hemper is a household name in the cannabis accessories, tools and supplies market. In addition to their innovative online headship, they offer a custom curated smoking box on a subscription basis. This subscription box shows up to your doorstep on schedule (i.e. monthly, bi-monthly, etc) or on-demand as needed, and can be customized to meet each users individual needs.
Subscription boxes may include hand-picked selections of high-quality glass pipes, rolling papers, filter tips, ashtrays, lighters, bowls, and other accessories. Hemper then packages and ships them to thousands of cannabis enthusiasts worldwide in discreet boxes.
Who is Hemper for?
Hemper is for anyone who enjoys smoking herb! We believe cannabis breaks down social boundaries between people, no matter their background, upbringing, or aspirations. No matter who you are, if you enjoy cannabis, you’re one of us. Hemper is a community and we take care of our own.
What’s in a Hemper box?
That depends on the individual subscriber. We personalize each box to match each subscriber’s taste: for example, someone who says they enjoy collecting rare glassware will receive different accessories than someone who would like everyday essentials. This way, nobody gets a box full of products they don’t want. Every box contains items that will genuinely improve the recipient’s cannabis experience.
Who Creates Hemper products?
Many of the products featured in Hemper boxes are designed and manufactured by our team’s own R&D department! We’re proud to create our own innovative products. When you create something yourself, you know where it comes from, what sort of quality you can expect, and who might enjoy it. Because we create many of our own products, we can get excited about these items when we ship them to subscribers.
How long has Hemper been around?
Hemper began in 2015; it turned four years old this summer. Wow, time flies.
How did we get the idea?
One of our founders, Bryan Gerber, came up with the idea in college. Remembering to purchase rolling papers on a regular basis was difficult and inconvenient. At the time, there weren’t many stores that sold rolling papers in the area, meaning he always needed to make a special trip to purchase them. Most big box stores online like Amazon and others still don’t support the purchase of smoking-related accessories online. Many of Gerber’s friends had the same issue, and eventually, Gerber came up with the idea for a subscription service offering everyday cannabis essentials. He started a couple months after graduation and never looked back.
What was Hemper’s mission?
Hemper’s mission was (and still is) “to deliver the highest quality experience and tobacco supplies every month, at one flat rate.” Basically, our mission is to elevate our subscribers’ smoking experience. Sometimes, that means effortless monthly rolling paper replenishment. Other times, that means introducing new glass to a subscriber’s collection. Regardless of our subscribers’ needs, we try to take away the hassle of price-shopping, comparing, purchasing something that doesn’t work, or remembering to re-order. We take care of all of those details by shipping high-quality products every month at the same flat rate.
Who ordered the first Hemper boxes?
In the first month, we sold (drumroll please) 35 boxes.
Though that may sound small, it was incredible for a startup in its first month of business and really motivated us to keep working hard. Our founders increased sales by working tirelessly to connect with other cannabis enthusiasts through social media. Once these enthusiasts heard about Hemper’s subscription service, they were eager to jump on board and the rest is history.
How did Hemper grow so quickly early on?
It was difficult for us to advertise due to legal restrictions and ad policies on different websites. In the beginning, we couldn’t even run ads, so we had to get creative to get the news out about our boxes.
One of the most powerful ways our founders spread the news about our subscription boxes was through YouTube. When we launched, Gerber contacted several YouTube influencers in the cannabis community (“Weedtubers”). If they liked the box, Weedtubers promoted it to their followers. It was a fairly simple arrangement. And it worked well: One month, a major Weedtuber named Jane Dro endorsed Hemper. We added over 700 subscribers from her community alone!
How did we build a community around Hemper?
At Hemper, we believe cannabis is more than an experience. It’s a community. It’s something we can share regardless of who we are, where we come from, or where we are in our lives at the moment.
One powerful way we work to cultivate a thriving community is through celebrity-curated boxes. To create a celebrity-curated box, we sit down with a celebrity to talk about their favorite cannabis accessories. That celebrity picks out the accessories they love and use the most—the ones they think everyone should try someday. Then, we send those accessories to our subscribers. These an element of shared enthusiasm and community to our shipments.
Who has Hemper collaborated with?
Over the years we’ve had the opportunity and pleasure of working with a number of well-known celebrities, entertainers, and household names in the cannabis industry. A few of those collaborations included working with Cypress Hill, 2Chainz, Ty Dolla $ ign, and RICO NASTY among many others.
How many people subscribe to Hemper products today?
Over 10,000 people are part of the Hemper community today! These include individuals from many walks of life and interests and from all over the world. We’re thrilled to bring together so many people through our common passion for cannabis.
What does the team see Hemper I the next five years?
We’re working to create better products with more options for our subscribers and customers. To meet all our community’s needs, we don’t just offer subscription boxes; we also sell our products individually. We are always releasing products like custom glass oil rigs and bongs you won’t find elsewhere. That way, if a subscriber likes something specific, they can order it again without waiting to see if it’s in the next box.
The Hemper team will always be researching and pushing the limits of innovation and creativity with all of our products, providing unique items that can’t be found elsewhere and a value that is unbeatable.
Our goal is to be like your hemp-loving best friend: We’re here to help you find the best accessories for you out of the thousands on the market, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy every smoke. We look forward to continuing to curate products for many years to come.