Cannabis packaging trends revolve around safety and legality.On October 1st, 2016, Colorado law implemented that cannabis products, packaging, and edibles containing THC be embossed with a universal symbol consisting of a diamond shaped stamp with the letters THC(1). This stamp allows everyone to easily recognize if a product has THC,but there is an unaccounted-for cost in educating consumers about the sticker warning, and the financial toll it might incur on small business owners.
Originally, people were afraid that children might accidentally consume edibles because they look like candy and there was no reliable to way to discern if consumable products contained THC.
Stamping a label onto edibles alleviates concerns from cannabis legalization critics.Michael Hartman, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, said:
“The adoption of a single universal symbol is part of our ongoing effort to protect public health and safety by enhancing consumers’ ability to identify products containing marijuana and reducing confusion stemming from two distinct symbols… One truly universal symbol also works to simplify and improve industry compliance with regard to packaging and labeling” (2).
However, implementing a stamp onto all packaging and edibles now force companies to spend additional money on design and manufacturing which they may not have. Eschino from Cannabis Business Executive mentioned that this extra cost will cause higher retail prices and could potentially push customers to go shopping on the black market (3).
Gilinksi of Cannabis Business Executive argues that the diamond symbol and THC emboss is a poor design choice for a warning label.“If I’m a five-year-old and I see a brownie with a diamond and the letters ‘THC’ inside, will I stop? Probably not. But if I see what looks like a red stop sign, there’s a higher chance that I’ll think twice before taking a bite” (3).
Colorado was the first state to approve recreational cannabis use, so it makes sense that they would be the first to implement a more comprehensive consumer safety policy. With the cannabis industry’s explosive growth in recent years, there is still much to teach the world. Remember, many people do not know that THC is tetrahydrocannabinol, aka cannabis, and that can be very problematic. A solution? Like Gilinksi said, a stop sign, the words ‘For Adults 21+’, or something along those lines. Many states will probably implement such measures in the years to come.