California Cannabis Packaging Regulations Coming in 2018

Packaging Your Cannabis Products
Written by Staff

The new year is almost here and that means there are some new cannabis packaging laws and regulations for 2018. The cannabis industry is unique in many areas, including the aspect of product packaging. Not only is it important to attract consumers and ultimately get them to buy and promote your brand, but it is also necessary to have your marijuana packaging compliant. So let’s take a look at what you need to know for the upcoming year.


Child Resistant Packaging

The AB-110 states that all cannabis exit packaging, pop top bottles, and other types of packaging is required to be child-resistant certified. This is no surprise to anyone and it makes perfect sense. While many manufacturers and producers will easily find child resistant solutions with such things as Pre-Roll tubes, Mylar Dispensary Bags, and Pop Top Bottles, others are going to have a much more difficult struggle to gaining the right solution for their products.


Child Resistant Exit Bags

These bags are very popular for products that aren’t child resistant. Once you place your product into this bag, you’re good to go. This makes it the perfect solution for anyone needing to stay compliant.


2 Types Of Labels Required

The new laws require two types of labels to be placed on your cannabis packaging. The first one is known as “Primary Panel” and the second one is called the “Informational Panel”.


  1. Primary Panel – This will require information of the identity of your product in a text size that is most prominent. You’ll also need to include the key phrase “cannabis-infused” right above the identity information. You’ll need to use bold type and the size of your text needs to be larger than the size you used to provide product identity. You’ll also need to provide the special symbol for cannabis products as outlined in Section 40412. Next, you’ll include the net volume or weight of the contents. You’ll include the CBD and THC content for the entirety of the package in milligrams per package. You’ll need to include the amount of CBD and THC contained per serving, also written in milligrams per serving. Other cannabinoids or terpenes per serving need to be included and verified. This needs to be done by getting a licensed testing lab that is compliant. (Business & Professions Code Section 19344) These labs will test your product and issue you a certificate of analysis for verification. Keep in mind that the primary panel text has to be no less than 6 point font, relative to the size of the overall container and the size of the primary panel itself.
  2. Information Panel – The information necessary for the information panel includes who the licensed manufacturer is and their website address and contact number. The date of manufacture needs to be included. You also need to include the following statements: “SCHEDULE I CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE.” “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND ANIMALS”(bold print) “FOR MEDICAL USE ONLY.” “IF PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING, CONSULT A PHYSICIAN PRIOR TO USE.” “THE INTOXICATING EFFECTS OF THIS PRODUCT MAY BE DELAYED BY UP TO TWO HOURS.” “THIS PRODUCT MAY IMPAIR THE ABILITY TO DRIVE OR OPERATE MACHINERY, PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION.” You also need to include the lot number, unique identifier, and the expiration date. (Or “best by” date/”use by date”) Your information panel text cannot be less than 6 point font, relative to the overall container size and the size of the primary panel. The exception is if there is not enough space on the packaging to print all of the information required in a size of no less than 6 point. In this case your label needs to have the required warning statements above in no less than 6 point font size. The product also has to be accompanied by additional labeling that will include all of the required information in this section. With the supplemental labeling, your font cannot be less than 8 point.


Order Compliant Labeling

The new regulations will also have some changes for special rules for edibles. This marijuana packaging will require you to list all product ingredients in an order descending by volume or weight. If your edible products contain a major food allergen, then you must have the word “contains”, followed by a list of the specific food allergen that your item contains. Keep in mind that allergens could be food coloring, flavoring, ingredients, or even incidental additives. You’ll want to list the names of any artificial food color. Also, the amount of total fat, carbohydrates, sugar and sodium per serving, in grams need to be included. Instructions for how to consume or use the product are also required.


New Symbol To Be Placed on California Cannabis Packaging

Similar to Oregon and Colorado, California has now their own symbol that is required to be placed on all legal cannabis products sold throughout. The symbol is to be no smaller than 0.5 in. x 0.5 in, as well as  printed conspicuously and legibly. The cannabis packaging cannot be made attractive to children. This can be an especially challenging situation for edible and concentrate companies. The new guidelines prohibit imitation of any products that have an appeal to children. This means that any packaging that contains phrases, images or cartoon characters used throughout popular culture to advertise to children cannot be used on your packaging.

Edibles have to be placed in opaque packaging material, according to the State of California. Transparent packaging has been prohibited, because it is thought that transparent packaging will make it too easy for wandering eyes to find the cannabis-infused cookies or brownies. Another requirement is that the marijuana packaging has to be resealable. If the packaging contains more than one serving, the item has to be resealable, in order to maintain child resistant compliance throughout the lifetime of the product.




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