Packaging Primer – What Cannabis Companies Need to Know

Julie Saltzman
Written by Julie Saltzman

With the constantly changing legislation surrounding the packaging of legalized recreational and medical marijuana, especially in California where the regulations remain in flux as numerous agencies continue to work on a blueprint prior to the January 1st, 2018 go live date for retail sales, it is important for producers, processors and retailers to stay informed.

Any player in the cannabis space can benefit from understanding basic packaging terminology to help them make informed choices about how to package their products.

Here is a list of some important terms that are important to understand about glass and plastic packaging for flower, edibles, concentrates, beverages, oils and a variety of other cannabis products.


The amount of space provided inside a container for a given amount of product.



A devise used to seal off the opening of the bottle to prevent the loss of its contents.


Color Concentrate

A measured amount of dye or pigment incorporated into a predetermined amount of plastic. This pigmented or colored plastic is then mixed into larger quantities of plastic material used for molding. The “concentrate” is added to the bulk of plastic in measured quantity in order to produce a precise, predetermined color of the molded containers.


Continuous Thread

An uninterrupted protruding helix on the neck of a container used to hold a screw-type closure.


Fill Point

The level to which a container must be filled to furnish a designated quantity of the contents.



The specifically shaped formation surrounding the container opening which will eventually accept a closure.

“H” Dimension

The height of the bottle finish measured from the sealing surface, in a line parallel to the axis of the finish and tangent to the threads on the finish, down to a point where the line intersects the body (shoulder) of the container. The inside height of the closure measured from the bottom of the closure, in a line tangent to the threads of the closure and terminating at the inside, top of closure.



An abbreviation for High Density Polyethylene.


I” Dimension

A specified minimum diameter inside the bottle neck. A minimum diameter is specified to allow sufficient clearance for filling tubes to enter the bottle neck easily.

“L” Dimension

The vertical distance from the sealing surface to the top part of neck bead, i.e., where the uppermost part of the bead intersects the container neck.



(1) A type of thread configuration designed so the thread segments are disposed equidistantly around a bottle neck (finish). The closure has matching portions that engage each of the thread segments

(2) A small indentation or raised portion on the surface of a container. The lug provides a means of indexing the container for operations such as multi-color decoration or labeling.



The part of a container where the shoulder cross section area decreases to form the finish.

Offset Printing

A printing technique in which ink is transferred from a reservoir to a printing plate. For the ink printing plate, the image is printed on a cylindrical rubber roll (blanket) and then to the object to be printed.



A term describing a material or substance which will not transmit light.

Overflow Capacity

The capacity to the top of the finish or to the point of overflow.


Distortion, side wall collapse of a container occurring during aging or storage. Paneling is caused by the development of a reduced pressure inside the bottle.


PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate)

Known as thermoplastic polyester. PET has the unusual ability to exist in either an amorphous or highly crystalline state. The crystalline state is necessary for extruding the material. The amorphous state permits it to be oriented



A tough, light-weight rigid plastic made by the polymerization of high-purity propylene gas in the presence of an organometallic catalyst at relatively low pressures and temperatures.



Any class of solid or semi-solid organic products of natural or synthetic origin, generally of high molecular weight, with no definite melting point. Most resins are Polymers.

“S” Dimension

Locates the position of the bottle thread with respect to the sealing surface. The “S” dimension is the vertical distance from the sealing surface to the intersection of the finish wall and the top part of the first part of bottle thread where full depth contour exists.


Screen Printing (ACL)

A printing technique involving the passage of printing medium, such as ink, through a web or fabric, which has been stretched on a frame, to which a refined form of stencil has been applied. The stencil openings determine the form and dimensions of the imprint thus produced.



The portion of a glass container in which the maximum cross section or body area decreases to join the neck of the container.



Referred to as “Displacement” and also as “Capacity.”

(1) The amount of water displaced by a model of a container. Volume is used to estimate its capacity.

(2) The amount of product a container is designed to hold, i.e., up to the fill point of the bottle.

As the world’s only Hybrid Packaging Supplier, Berlin Packaging provides packaging solutions for cannabis companies, along with warehousing, design, financing, and consulting services offered at no charge.


Julie Saltzman
Director of Marketing
Berlin Packaging

A: 525 W. Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60661 USA
E: Julie.Saltzman@BerlinPackaging.com
O: +1.312.869.7554 | M: +1.312.607.6642 | F: +1.312.610.5860
LinkedIn: Berlin Packaging | Twitter: @BerlinPackaging

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Julie Saltzman

Julie Saltzman

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