Contract Packaging, General, Innovation, Preformed Pouches, Sustainable Packaging / January 7, 2019
The rapid expansion of the cannabis industry reflects the optimistic expectation that widespread adoption of the various derived products is all but certain. Even as laws constantly change and new regulations are developed, products, dispensaries, and even edible applications are popping up across the country—along with methods to deliver these products with quality, safety, and legality in mind. Anyone selling cannabis-based products—or looking to start—must navigate myriad government regulations, consumer demand, and a market subject to sudden changes.
Cannabis can be subject to regulations that overlap (particularly in production and packaging quality) with pharmaceuticals and the food and beverage industry, but the inconsistent legality of its purchase, use, and distribution means there are many more rules to stay on top of. While it may eventually enjoy a more consistent legal-but-highly-regulated status similar to alcohol and tobacco, currently rules can vary not only at the state level but by region. Federally, it’s still illegal to purchase marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, but enforcement was relaxed under the Obama administration making it easier for states to make their own legislation. The Trump administration has backtracked on that relaxed approach so there is greater risk of federal intervention. However, as more states legalize various uses for cannabis consumer demand has exploded and is on pace to near $25 billion by next year (up from just over $7 billion in 2016). Legal recreational dollars will account for nearly half of that market value (the remainder being medical).
Jumping into the cannabis industry naturally poses a number of challenges beyond your average business model.
Packaging solutions are necessary for 3 categories of cannabis products: flowers, concentrates, and edibles. Concentrates like oils and waxes require glass or acrylic containers. Flowers and edibles can also be packaged in glass but they are great candidates for flexible packaging too.
Flowers need to be protected from crushing and maintain quality best in opaque smell-proof containers that are tamper-evident. Stand-up pouches are an ideal flexible packaging option.
Edibles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but similar to flowers need to be tamper evident and accommodate either single- or multi-use.
While specific requirements vary, common regulations for all cannabis packaging are child-resistant, tamper-evident, resealable, and opaque—all features that can be met by flexible packaging.
Need to explore your options for cannabis product packaging? Give us a call or contact us!
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