Important Considerations for Legal Marijuana Packaging

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green cannabis plant close-up photography

October 12, 2022

As marijuana becomes legal in more states, the need for proper marijuana packaging increases.

Marijuana must be packaged in a way that ensures the safety of the consumer and complies with state laws.

This guide provides an overview of the requirements for marijuana packaging.

Type of Cannabis

Understanding what type of cannabis you will be packaging is the first step in choosing the right marijuana packaging.

Selecting a packing machine that is capable of performing the tasks you want is highly dependent on the nature of your product.

When sourcing a cannabis packaging machine, be prepared to provide specifics such as:

  • How wet or dry is your product?
  • Do you know whether your powder product flows easily?
  • Please specify the thickness of your liquid product.
  • How much weight, in units of the commodity, must there be in each bag?

The shopping and purchase procedure will go more smoothly if you provide the equipment supplier with as much information as possible about the items you want to package using the automated system.

Legal Requirements of Cannabis Packaging

green cannabis on clear glass jar

In order to be sold legally, cannabis goods must meet a variety of criteria, many of which vary from one business to the next or even from one state to another. 

Such regulations may impose requirements such as:

  • Labeling requirements regarding font size
  • Required by law packaging disclaimers
  • Containers with child-proof locks
  • Indicators of tampering
  • Logo creation and design
  • Claims made by advertisers about the health benefits of their products
  • Transparency and opaqueness of packaging

It is crucial to invest in a thorough knowledge of the laws before committing to packaging or equipment since restrictions are both detailed and constantly altering.

While many suppliers of packaging materials and equipment may be familiar with the relevant rules, it is ultimately the responsibility of the end user to ensure that their packaging is in compliance.

Types of Bags for Legal Marijuana Packaging

 

green kush on white ceramic plate

Glass jars, cardboard boxes, tin cans, plastic bags, and pouches are just some of the packaging options for cannabis products.

Although there are benefits and drawbacks to all forms of packaging, flexible pouches and bags have recently seen meteoric development in popularity for storing and transporting cannabis edibles and powders.

Most notably, flexible packaging is advantageous because of its low price, low weight and low shipping costs, unexpected sustainability, and adoration among customers for its convenience.

Pillow pouch bags

If you’re looking for the cheapest and easiest bag option, go no further than the pillow bag, which is essentially a stick pack but longer and wider.

This type of packaging is widely used in many different sectors because it can be adapted to many different needs.

The pillow pouch packaging also can pack CBD Gummies.

CBD Gummies are candies that have been infused with the cannabidiol (CBD). They may be found in a wide range of forms, hues, sizes, and CBD active ingredients.

Gummies provide a hidden and hassle-free method to consume CBD, and thanks to the efforts of several producers, they have quickly become a consumer favorite among both regular CBD consumers and newbies.

CBD products made from hemp with less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are lawful at the federal level but may still be banned in certain states.

CBD products produced from marijuana are unlawful on a federal level but may be acceptable in specific states. Prior to purchasing any CBD products, you should research the legal status of such items in your state.

Furthermore, Pillow pouch packaging is perfect for mass production since it can be made extremely rapidly using packing automation. However, if you are aiming to promote your product as luxurious, it may not be the greatest solution.

Fast and simple bag formation, filling, and sealing of pillow bags are possible with many different types of VFFS equipment.

Check out this video to see how the pillow pouch packaging works: 

How to Package Seeds Peanuts and Cashews in Pouch at High Speeds | Spack Machine Packaging Machine

Stand up pouches

doypack pouch - spackmachine

These trendy, eye-catching stand-up pouches have a level top and an oval base, allowing them to stand on their own and providing enough room for labels and logos.

Because of its attractive appearance and ability to keep the product secure, stand-up pouches are a popular packaging method for legal cannabis.

Doypacks are a type of packaging that is already familiar to customers because they are used for food. This familiarity makes people feel more secure about trying cannabis products that are packaged in this way.

Stand-up pouches, with their upscale appearance and feel, are ideal for high-end items like cannabis edibles.

Doypacks are most presentable when bought ready-made and then placed into a fully-automatic weighing and filling machine.

Meanwhile, click here to watch a video of the doypack stand-up pouch:

Pet food Pre-made bag packaging machine, stand-up pouch gusset bag packing machines block bottom bag

Target Market

Now that cannabis is legal in certain places, it is being purchased by a far wider range of consumers, including millennials, new parents, and the elderly.

This part of the market may be reluctant to use cannabis due to the negative connotations connected with the drug.

Assuring the buyer that they are getting real, legal, and safe goods is one of the roles packaging plays.

For these reasons, cannabis edibles sold in stand-up prepared pouches (Doypacks) have been a runaway success.

These containers have a high-end appearance and a familiar package shape. Stand-up pouches provide a large space for branding and labeling, plus they give the product an air of being made in a tiny batch, which is a big hit with today’s customers.

Keep in mind that you don’t want your cannabis package to accidentally attract customers you aren’t trying to reach, like kids.

You should be careful when deciding to use marketing visuals that are very attractive or that use terms like “candy” and “cookies.” 

These words may be appropriate for other target audiences, but using them may get you in trouble if they attract the attention of children.

Keeping your design simple while yet being elegant and timeless can help you position your product favorably and save you money in the long run.

Budget

fan of 100 U.S. dollar banknotes

Investing is no different from any other kind of business: you need to be sure it makes sense financially and will pay off.

Your equipment cost will be determined solely by your individual requirements.

The more specifics you provide about your machine’s needs, the more precise your cost estimate will be. There is often a higher price tag associated with machinery that has more features, can be modified, or operates at a higher speed.

Performing a cost-benefit analysis to see whether investing in packaging automation makes sense for your company is a wonderful approach to ensure a positive return on investment and a manageable payback time.

Plus, if you can find a way to utilize packaging machinery that has already been paid for, your company’s return on investment will be even higher.

When you’re considering marijuana packaging for your product, don’t forget about state and local regulations. 

These vary from place to place, so it’s important to do your research before making any decisions.

Having this information at your disposal will help you to make a well-informed choice and give you a leg up on the competition.

Shelf Life of Cannabis

 

Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) has been used for years by many food packagers to guarantee freshness and shelf stability without the use of artificial preservatives.

This technique is also quite helpful in the cannabis market, as it keeps products fresh and effective.

In the case of cannabis, there are three different forms of MAP that may be used: barrier films, scavengers, gas flushing, or desiccant packs.

Barrier films

Laminated packaging films are widely used by package manufacturers because of their ability to generate and preserve a specific environment within the container.

High-barrier packaging materials, such as these, are designed to keep out liquids, gases, vapors, and light.

Gas flushing

A gas (usually nitrogen) is utilized to displace the ambient oxygen within the box during the packaging process.

It has been shown that flushing packages with nitrogen gas slows oxidation, reduces the development of aerobic spoilage organisms, cushions the contents, and aids in maintaining package conformance.

Desiccant packs

These little sachets are included inside the packaging. The sachet’s components drink up the air and moisture around them.

This is an effective way to keep things dry and fresh, as it eliminates the possibility of moisture damage.

Process of Cannabis Packaging

If you want to fill and seal your cannabis bags by hand, experts advise selecting a bag design with a wide-mouth top.

Hand-packing over an extended length of time is not the best way to save money.

There are many choices for bag styles if you use an automated cannabis packaging device.

There is no limit to the types or sizes of bags used with today’s cannabis packaging machinery.

A high-accuracy multi-head scale allows for fast, precise weighing of cannabis products to within a tenth of a gram.

Safety Considerations

Experts in package design recommend including child-resistant packaging for cannabis products regardless of whether or not it is needed by legislation in the consumer’s jurisdiction.

More stringent regulations are likely in the future, so including child-resistant elements in your bags from the start may save the need for a costly redesign down the road.

In addition, demonstrating concern for product safety and reducing the possibility of access by youngsters increases customer trust in your company.

Marijuana Packaging: Critical for Success

The marijuana industry is booming, and there’s no end in sight. 

As more and more states legalize cannabis for medicinal and recreational use, the demand for high-quality marijuana products will only continue to increase.

That means that marijuana packaging is more important than ever before.

Packaging not only protects your product from damage and keeps it fresh, but it’s also a critical marketing tool.

Your packaging is often the first thing potential customers will see, so it’s important to make a good impression.

Leon Liu

Leon Liu

Author

I am Leon, the technical sales manager of Spack Machine, I have a Mechatronics Degree and 10 years of experience in the packaging machine industry.

Spack Machine is a leading manufacturer of packaging machines. We commit to providing a one-stop solution for our customers.

I hope to provide you with valuable information about packaging and machinery through this blog.

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