Glassmaker CannaDevices Is Molding Something Special


Innovation is helping drive the cannabis industry forward. But sometimes the comfort of something familiar is good, too. Glass has been both innovative and familiar throughout the modern cannabis reform movement, and its reliability and simplicity keep it going strong today.

CannaDevices offers a wide range of glass products. Despite the industry trend toward more complex product offerings, cofounder Chris Piazza believes there is plenty of room for traditional consumption methods to remain popular.

“I don’t believe glass’s popularity with consumers will ever change,” he said. “I see new product innovations as simply additional forms of consumption, not replacements. We can look at other industries like tobacco or alcohol to see the tried and true ways to consume don’t ever disappear.”

CannaDevices cofounder Chris Piazza mg Magazine
CannaDevices cofounder Chris Piazza.

Glass pieces still hold a special place in consumers’ hearts because of their utility and visual appeal. CannaDevices’ products are small works of art in their own right — each handmade by artisans.

It feels great to be supporting American artists,” Piazza said. “We have around fifty artists who work for us full time and never have to worry how their bills are going to be paid. It is truly an honor to be able to offer this kind of consistency to what is inherently an inconsistent profession.”

CannaDevices’s willingness to let art drive design and manufacturing did not develop accidentally. Both Piazza and fellow cofounder Robert Bank are glassblowers.

“Accessories are only 2 percent of a dispensary’s revenue,” Piazza said. “We understand [the category] is not a huge revenue generator, so it is our job to make carrying these types of products as easy as possible. It’s about the customer experience more than the dispensary’s revenue.”

The CannaDevices team also helps customers with marketing. Many advertising and marketing platforms open to messages from consumer packaged goods manufacturers are off-limits for cannabis companies because the plant is federally illegal. CannaDevices offers an innovative solution that bypasses at least some of the obstacles cannabis marketers face. Brands simply have to provide their logo, and CannaDevices can handle the rest.

“PromoPipes are a selection of the standard pipe shapes but customized with the dispensary’s logo using a unique ceramic-based ‘bake-on’ label that is safe and durable,” Piazza said.

Robert Bank CannaDevices cofounder mg Magazine
CannaDevices cofounder Robert Bank.

“We both know what it is like to have to try to be creative and a salesperson at the same time,” Piazza said. “Most artists struggle with the sales/business management side of the craft, and that is where we found our skill sets could help many of them.”

Piazza and Bank’s commitment to helping others also extends to consumers and dispensary staff. As the industry moves forward and product offerings become more complex, gaps in consumer knowledge can become canyons.

“At CannaDevices, we believe there needs to be education around the devices used to consume,” Piazza said. “There is an incredible amount of information around different strains and terpenes, but some new patients still don’t know how to pack a bowl.” 

Innovation in an industry as young and vital as cannabis is constant. Even seasoned veterans admit it can be tough to keep up; the inexperienced often feel overwhelmed. Piazza and Bank feel a responsibility to get correct information “out there” as quickly as they can.

“We offer virtual education to help budtenders feel more comfortable explaining the different designs and functions of different pipes, and we also provide on-site product demonstrations for local dispensaries,” Piazza said. “We’ve also been brought on to create onboarding videos for a large chain of dispensaries.”

CannaDevices also helps dispensary operators track and manage inventory. Utilizing inventory and direct sales data, the company can restock a store’s shelves based on consumer demand.

“This is not a sticker,” he added. “The ceramic ink bonds with the glass itself after a baking process where the glass and decal are brought to 1,200 degrees.”

CannaDevices promo pipe mg Magazine
PromoPipe. (Photo: CannaDevices)

More traditional swag and giveaways like lighters rolling papers are easily lost or “accidentally” walk away with a friend, never to be seen again. A glass piece, while of course not immune to such misfortune, potentially can have a much longer shelf life.

“PromoPipes are a must-have at store openings and a great product to pair with deals dispensaries are offering,” Piazza said.

They also make excellent giveaway at industry events, increasing the brand’s impact not only on the original recipient, but also on everyone who sees the recipient use the device. Even companies not in the cannabis industry believe in the marketing power of PromoPipes.

“We had a videogame development company get them — and even crazier, a mortgage company!” Piazza said. “The mortgage company purchaser said it best: ‘I know what my customers do when they are at home. This way I can hand them a pipe on the golf course, and they will remember me.’”

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