No longer will marijuana be packaged in plastic bags. Custom-art on many types of packaging is immerging in this growing industry. While most is still packaged in generic pop-top type bottles, the cannabis packaging market has grown into a very big business in just a few short years.
This growth stems in a large part from strict state-mandated packaging regulations that generate the need for child-resistant packaging, precise labeling, and exit bags, just to name a few. Plus, each type has its own packaging needs.
There has rarely been one product that has been identified to have as many uses, or come in so many different packaging formats as cannabis. The packaging options include glass and plastic jars, rigid tubes, cartons, flexible pouches, decorative tins, bottles, and more. When you consider the ways cannabis can be delivered – smokable flowers, oils for vape pens, infused into foods like candy, chocolate, mints, brownies, cookies, soda, teas, and sugars, it can become a packaging nightmare.
Cannabis packaging cannot resemble traditionally available food packages, must be tamper-evident, re-sealable if the product includes multiple servings, and child-resistant. Additionally, packaging for edibles must be opaque. All manufactured products must be packaged according to regulatory standards before they are released to the distributor.
Medical marijuana edibles are both a food product and a pharmaceutical. Companies will now need to adapt to find better solutions for cannabis packaging as well.
The flexible packaging industry understands how to package food and, as edible marijuana companies expand, they’ll need better solutions. A bakery making cookies with cannabis-infused butter will want to package its products in a way that provides the same functionality as packaged cookies in a grocery store.
The labeling must not refer to the product as candy, be attractive to children, include cartoons, or make any health claims. There are two labeling category requirements: primary panel requirements and informational panel requirements. The primary panel is the portion of the label that is most likely to be displayed to the consumer at retail. The informational panel can be located anywhere else on the package.
Different materials are being explored, as are packaging formats. As the industry grows, material science will play a crucial role in developing different types of packaging that call for complex structures capable of providing moisture and gas barriers. For instance, strips for oral delivery is just one example of the new product types in research and development.
On a whole, the cannabis industry must project an image of accountability and responsibility. Packaging suppliers are helping the industry tackle that challenge with effective communication, along with safety features.
Probably the biggest obstacle for packaging companies is the same as it’s been in other packaging arenas, like food and medications. The regulations are in constant flux. The challenge with cannabis packaging is that there are many different regulations across the country. Cannabis cannot cross state lines, so every package and every label must be specific to the state in which it is being sold.
As with any industry, the desire to have more brand identification is finding its way into the cannabis market. Companies are exploring ways to incorporate their specific branding identifiers to the different types of packaging.
No matter what material you are using in packaging cannabis, Griffin-Rutgers is able to provide you the right printing, coding or labeling system to help you be a success. We offer in-line and off-line systems to meet your specific needs.