When I was a teenager in the ’80s, my fellow metalheads and I wore our counterculture on our…well, not on our sleeves necessarily, but pretty much all over the rest of our leather and/or denim jackets -- in the form of patches, buttons and pins decorated with logos of our favorite bands. Over the following decades, the popularity of these decorative accessories has diminished. But now, thanks to cannabis concentrate culture, pins are making a big comeback.
In the past few years, a number of pin makers have emerged, all producing a variety of metal pins for today’s young stoner. One of the most popular pin makers at our Cannabis Cup events is Adam Hand, owner of Handmade Apparel -- a marketing company that also produces t-shirts and hoodies. Hand attributes this resurgence of “pinterest” to two things: a new generation of young stoners reaching adulthood, and the pins’ durability.
“Kids who were into pop culture are of age now and they have money to spend,” he says. “A pin is cheap, you can trade them with your friends, and they last forever.
I can buy a piece of glass, and I’m going to break it within a year or two. But I can spend $15 on a pin, stick it on a board, and I’m going to have that 20 years from now, and I’ll tell that story about it. They’re great conversations starters.”
Of course, these “Generation Dab” kids don’t wear denim vests and motorcycle jackets -- instead, they wear their pins on their baseball caps, or tack them up onto a board.
“I’ve been known to carry around a 2x4 and say to people, ‘Hey -- look at my pins!” jokes Hand. “Its silly, but its fun … its like Garbage Pail Kids from back in the day.”
“We take high-quality art and we convert it into pin art,” he explains. “You get it looking good, then you submit it and wait about three weeks -- its really simple.” The pins are crafted from brass and stamped with the design like a coin. Colored enamel is then added to the recessions, and the whole thing is polished and plated with nickel. “They’re made in Asia primarily…there’s almost no manufacturers in the US. I know of one, and we’re looking to talk to him.”
While many of his pins are designed specifically for clients with their company logos or images, Hand also designs many on his own. “I’ve personally done 30 designs in the past six months,” he tells me. “There are dozens of well-known pin makers out there, and literally thousands and thousands of different designs to be found.”
Pins range in price from as little as $10 for small ones up to $30 or so for larger, more intricate ones. “There’s a great profit margin on them,” Hand continues, “and boy do people want them! We made a group on Facebook called “pot pins.” It started off as a joke but within a couple of weeks we had 800 members.”
Make that 801, Mr. Hand.