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A Brief History of Smoke Shops

A Brief History of Smoke Shops

A Brief History of Smoke Shops

The history of the modern smoke shop is relatively short and mostly uneventful. Still, the retail industry has undergone a significant transformation during that time. Over the last decade or so, the number of smoke shops has exploded, and with good reason. These shops provide a valuable service by offering a large variety of smoking paraphernalia at affordable prices.

In the 1960s and ‘70s, very few retail stores bought products like pipes and water pipes. Today that has changed dramatically, and if you ask any smoker, they will tell you that there is no substitute for an online smoke shop.

A lot has changed since the early days of the smoke shop. That’s a good thing! If you’re interested in knowing the industry's history, check out the following timeline of significant events in the modern smoke shop.

The First Smoke Shops

It is difficult to pinpoint the first modern smoke shop, but it is safe to assume it was around the early ‘90s. There were only a handful of these stores at the time, and they were all located in California.

These shops were called “head shops,” and they sold various items, such as bongs, pipes, papers, and rolling machines. Typically, they also had a small selection of cannabis-related merchandise, like rolling papers, roach clips, and other related paraphernalia.

As the smoke shop industry began to take off, more and more stores opened up across the United States. Today, there are dozens of smoke shops all over the country, and they are booming.

The Internet Takes Over

In the early 2000s, websites such as eBay and Craigslist became very popular. Almost everyone has heard of or used one of these websites to buy paraphernalia.

The Internet has played an integral role in the modern smoke shop industry. It has allowed consumers to easily research their options, compare prices, and find reviews from other users.

The convenience of using the Internet has undoubtedly contributed to the fast growth of the industry. It has also allowed more people to become involved in smoking.

People who used to only be able to buy their smoking supplies from a brick and mortar store can now do so from the comfort of their own homes.

The Internet has also made it easier for consumers to find the best prices on smoking paraphernalia.

Legalization of Marijuana

If you look at the marijuana legalization laws in the United States, you will discover that things have come a long way in only a few short years.

In November 2016, voters in California approved a proposition that would legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes. The decision made it the first state in the country to do so.

Then, in January 2018, the US Congress passed a bill that made it legal to grow hemp and extract CBD from it. CBD is a chemical that can be used for various medical purposes.

This development has been very beneficial to the smoke shop industry. That’s because it is now possible for retailers to sell more marijuana-related items.

In addition to rolling papers and roach clips, retailers can now sell bongs, vaporizers, CBD products, and many other smoking products.

Vaporizers and Dry Herb Vapes

Thanks to the legal changes made in 2018, it is now possible to sell more dry herb vaporizers and vape pens. These devices allow people to consume CBD oils and THC extracts through a vape pen.

More and more people are becoming interested in vaping dry herbs and oils, which is why these products are popular.

These days, almost every smoke shop also sells e-cigarettes.

When it comes to dry herb vaporizers, retailers have many options to choose from.


The modern smoke shop is an exciting industry to be a part of.

Most people think of these shops as only selling tobacco products, but that’s inaccurate.

Today’s smoke shops sell various smoking products, including dry herb vaporizers, e-cigarettes, vape pens, bongs, and dab rigs.

The industry has also benefitted from a wave of legal changes made in 2018. The most important of these changes is the legalization of marijuana.

With these shops selling a huge variety of products, it is easy to find whatever you are looking for. If you're looking for your next pipe or bong checkout us at

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the modern smoke shop, check out the timeline below.

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