Celebration Pipes Nears 50

Updated: Nov 6

For nearly 50 years, consumers of marijuana the world over who prefer to smoke the ground loose-leaf flowers of the plant have flocked to a particular premium American-made accessory: The Celebration Pipe.

Since 1973, the company's founder and resident artisan, an introspective West Coaster who prefers to be called "DaPiper," has been producing a few thousand of these coveted collector items every year. After half a century, he and his company have survived multiple recessions, a few hurricanes, a pandemic, and ongoing wildfires to continuously produce these limited-run pipes.

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Today, all Celebration Pipes in the wild have become more valuable due to one simple fact: DaPiper is planning to produce his final units and shut down the company at year 50 in 2023.


Today, all Celebration Pipes in the wild have become more valuable due to one simple fact: DaPiper is planning to produce his final units and shut down the company at year 50 in 2023.

But we digress. This is Higher Learning LV. Technically speaking, what makes a Celebration Pipe so special? Why do some of the world's most famous potheads and entertainers own one?


Celebration Pipes are fully handcrafted and connoisseur-grade smoking implements made primarily from 22k gold and Lavastoneware clay. A trademark of each of the 150,000 units produced to date is the model year and DaPiper's initials, hand carved by the man himself.

"Why not 24 karot gold?," we asked DaPiper during our interview in Lake Las Vegas. "It's too soft, no good," he said while inspecting one of his Purple Haze models that we had filled with water hash. "22 karot is just about perfect, from an engineering perspective," he added.


Beyond cosmetic appeal, the gold serves the technical role of reflecting the heat generated in the bowl back into the loose-leaf plant material. In the process, the pipe remains cool to the touch, even during prolonged smoking sessions.


Beyond cosmetic appeal, the gold serves the technical role of reflecting the heat generated in the bowl back into the loose-leaf plant material. In the process, the pipe remains cool to the touch, even during prolonged smoking sessions.

DaPiper told us how, in the early days of the company's operation in Hawaii, he experimented with various production techniques, including the use of molds. "I tried to do it the mold way and they turned out horrible," he said. "I ended up throwing all of those in the ocean...they were so bad."

All Celebration Pipes are made from a special clay, iron oxide, and a variety of precious metals. Potentially dangerous substances—including glue, plastic, and resin that may feature toxic off-gassing when heated—have never been used by the company.

For those trying to convince a spouse to allow them to purchase a Celebration Pipe, here's an angle: Like premium jewelry, these gorgeous ganja goblets maintain and actually increase in value. "Think about it," DaPiper said, "In '73, gold was $110 an ounce. Today, it is $1700."


Celebrity Owners

Celebration Pipes has been commissioned to produce pipes for a long list of music industry legends. The list of actors, musicians, and other celebs who own these pipes is impressive. From Fleetwood Mac and Bob Marley to Aerosmith and Woody Harrelson, dozens of entertainers have received special edition pipes from DaPiper personally.


Owners also include Willie Nelson, Ziggy Marley, B-Real from Cypress Hill, actress Daryl Hannah, former Mexican president Vicente Fox, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, and the late Hugh Hefner from Playboy Magazine.

"In August of '78, Bob Marley came to Honolulu. He wrapped the tour in Maui," said DaPiper, who founded his company in the Aloha State. After the concert, he presented Marley and his band mates each with their own Celebration Pipes. "It was beyond spiritual. The guy is amazing. To this day, nothing can really top that one," said DaPiper.


After the concert, he presented Marley and his band mates each with their own Celebration Pipes. "It was beyond spiritual. The guy is amazing. To this day, nothing can really top that one," said DaPiper.

DaPiper + The Future

"Most of the folks from the scene back then are either in prison or dead," DaPiper told us soberly. "Bob Snodgrass and I are the only ones left," he joked with a terse laugh, referring to the veteran master glass artist who gained inspiration from the Grateful Dead in the 1970s.

"What are you going to do after you stop making 3,000 gold-plated pipes every year?," we asked DaPiper as we finished our coffee and poured over his aging memorabilia collection, complete with yellowing photos of a 20-something version of the artist leaping from a helicopter into the Pacific Ocean. After a brief pause, he replied, "We've had a good run. We touched a lot of people and had some great times with some wonderful folks."


After saying good night to DaPiper, we watched his sport utility vehicle drive west into the mountains of the Mojave Desert outside Las Vegas. As his tail lights faded into the night skyline, the scene symbolized to us the end of 50 years of production of his beautiful pipes.


For those who love smoking cannabis, we recommend getting a Celebration Pipe while they're still available. Because we don't think we or the members of Fleetwood Mac are going to be selling ours anytime soon.


Like what you just read? Check out our new Cannabis for Cancer Hub that features links to all of our articles about marijuana for cancer.

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