The Evolution of Marijuana Packaging

 

How it has Evolved

Marijuana packaging has always developed to meet the standards of contemporary design aesthetics, but now it is being required by law to change for safety. It’s great for California’s economy that marijuana recently became legal for recreational users; the cannabis market is expected to reach $5.1 billion by 2019. That number tops the predicted estimate for beer sales in 2019. It’s an obstacle for dispensaries & product manufacturers, however, that now have to make sure all of their items meet the legal requirements for packaging that came along with legalization.

Some of the new laws are simple, but others are more complex & require businesses to renovate their strategies to make sure they are in compliance. Legalization in California began on January 1st, 2018, & businesses were given a 6-month grace period to get their items in order; therefore, as of July 1st, if your California dispensary or marijuana company that sells products within California isn’t complying with new regulations, it is now breaching laws.

 

Dispensary Requirements

Most dispensaries are familiar with the new laws that require products to be contained inside a tamper-proof bag, but some are not aware that there are also new packaging rules for other items such as pre-rolls, edibles, & bud containers. You can find a full list of requirements on the California Department of Public Health website here.

Without abiding by these new laws, dispensaries could face fines or a revocation of their business license. Those consequences are dire for dispensaries & frustrating for customers that have grown to become reliant on their favorite shops. The best way to make sure business is not hindered by penalties or completely shut down is to learn about these new rules & to make sure packaging meets new standards as soon as possible.

 

Child-Proof Packaging

According to the CDPH, not only do new laws exist that require dispensaries to use tamper-proof, child-resistant exit bags to contain all purchased products, but there are also new laws that prohibit any packaging from being attractive to children, & only generic food names are allowed for use as the description of ingredients. These regulations are well-intended but make the move to compliance more complex than just printing new labels for packaging. Dispensaries & product manufacturers may now have to come up with new names & campaign plans for some or all of their items, which could mean ordering all new packaging items & containers.

It doesn’t have to be a difficult process to become compliant. Biohazard has been anticipating these new laws & has had child-resistant, ASTM approved bags, jars, joint tubes & drams in stock since the announcement of the new laws.

 

Flower & Concentrate Packaging

In addition to the new laws in place for safer bags & less child-inviting product names & packaging, labels & containers for bud flowers, pre-rolls, & concentrates must yield to new laws as well. The CDPH states:

-          Cannabis (flower & pre-rolls that only contain flower) must meet the basic requirements outlined in the Business & Professions Code: Division 10, Chapter 12

-          Pre-rolls that only contain flower must follow all packaging and labeling standards outlined in the California Business and Professions Code

-          Pre-rolls that contain both flower and concentrates ("infused pre-rolls") must meet all packaging and labeling required of manufactured products, as outlined in the MCSB regulations for cannabis manufacturers

In short, these rules mean that new labels with specific language must be present on all containers, & that new regulatory stickers must be placed on all containers as well.

There are many dispensaries around the Los Angeles area that still may not even be close to being in accordance with the new laws; we’ve encountered shops recently that sold us jars of flowers that weren’t labeled at all. Not only is this now against the law, but it’s also a bit frustrating for customers who might be trying out new strains & can’t remember later on what it is they bought because the container isn’t labeled.

We’re not saying these are necessarily black market shops but this past June, California Governor Jerry Brown proposed funding to dispatch five teams dedicated to investigating shops that are operating illegally. The push to make dispensaries comply with new regulations will only become more pressing over time so it’s best to prepare now.

 

Labeling & Direct Printing

Deciding on labels & packaging can sometimes be an uneasy task to navigate, especially when time is limited. A lot of time can be wasted looking for the correct packaging & labels only to find out it just doesn’t exist how it needs to.

Biohazard anticipated the future needs for new law-conforming labels as well as new specific labeling for businesses having to re-arrange their labeling & packaging strategies. We not only have California Compliant RX labels but also RX labels available for Colorado & Washington.

We know that though a business might be complying with the new RX label & child-resistant bag & container laws, they might still have to comply with new packaging & labels that make their products less desirable for children.

Fortunately, Biohazard also specializes in customized marijuana packaging & printing! This is especially convenient for businesses that need to renovate the look of their products to abide by new laws, as we can quickly provide quality packaging, even with a low minimum order. Our packaging & labels are also BPA-free acrylic & fully compliant, approved & tested.

A huge benefit to our custom printing program is that businesses can choose whether they want their design printed on a label or printed directly onto the packaging. We can easily make new packages look exactly as requested, along with new safety regulations so there isn’t any worry about fines or license revocation.

We know that the new packaging & label laws are frustrating, but Biohazard has everything any marijuana establishment will need to abide by the new regulations. We really don’t want any company to go under when we’re right here to provide all the necessary services needed to stay in business!