California’s New Cannabis Packaging Laws

Cannabis Packaging
Photo by: Atomazul/Shutterstock

With the legalization of recreational weed in California came a host of new cannabis packaging laws that each dispensary must follow. While many of these regulations are aimed at helping adults consume cannabis more responsibly, some of the most noticeable ones are intended to prevent marijuana products from appealing to children. This will affect how the cannabis products are displayed and sold at popular California dispensaries. Many producers are worried that these laws will affect their ability to market effectively, but after reading this guide, you can decide for yourself!

Child-Resistant Requirements

Notably, all packaging of products must be certifiably child-resistant. This is something most everyone is on board with, and many products already come in child-resistant containers. For example, the tubes most pre-rolls come in, pop-top bottles qualify as compliant. Many dispensaries that carry non child-resistant items (spoiler: that’s a lot of them) will skirt the issue by issuing exit bags that meet the criteria.

Cannabis packaging must also avoid anything that would make it appealing to minors, as well. This regulation is much more contentious because it dictates that packaging can’t include anything that can be considered a “cartoon,” and can’t include any phrases or images that are often used to market to kids. The broadness of the definition takes a whole host of art styles off the table. Also forbidden is any packaging that imitates candy in any way, which is going to throw a lot of edible makers off their advertising game!

In another controversial decision, regulations now require that edibles be packaged in material that’s completely opaque. The thought behind this is that a child might see a tasty-looking brownie and eagerly dive in, not knowing its intoxicating properties. That’s fair, but it also means that consumers will have to do even more guesswork to pick out the best edibles.

Primary Panel

Every product must have a primary panel and an information panel affixed to them before they arrive at the dispensary. The primary panel contains:

  • The identity of the product
  • The words “cannabis-infused” immediately above the product identity, in bold type that’s larger than the product identity
  • The cannabis product symbol: a red triangle with “THC” printed in it
  • The net weight or volume of the package’s contents
  • The total THC and CBD content of the package, in milligrams
  • The THC and CBD content per serving, in milligrams

At a minimum, the primary panel text has to be a 6-point font.

Information Panel

Photo by: Ekaterina_Minaeva/Shutterstock
Photo by: Ekaterina_Minaeva/Shutterstock
The information panel lets you know where your product came from, and what’s in it. This label must contain:

  • The manufacturer and their contact information or website, and a lot number
  • A full health warning
  • A list of ingredients, including any major food allergens
  • The product’s expiry, “use by,” or “best by” date
  • The product’s unique identifier

In combination, these labels are meant to provide you with everything you need to be an informed consumer, and to keep kids away from marijuana products. While many are irritated by the strict cannabis packaging laws California has set up, the intentions behind these regulations are good, and we hope the outcome is positive overall.

Article by: Spencer Grey