The legal cannabis industry is expanding at an incredible rate. This rapidly-growing industry saw sales of 26 billion dollars in 2021 and is expected to hit double that amount by 2026 according to CNN Business. This makes it an extremely attractive prospect for entrepreneurs and businesses alike, but before you start selling products, there are cannabis packaging and label regulations that you need to be aware of.
Every state has different laws and regulations for marijuana packaging, which can make it confusing for many businesses. Because the standards for cannabis packaging and labeling are always changing, we thought we’d take a deeper look at the current requirements to guarantee you’re entirely compliant and not at risk of getting fined.
What are the current rules for marijuana packaging?
Packaging laws vary from state to state and depend on the products being sold. Here’s a brief overview of the current regulations as of September 10, 2021:
All cannabis products sold in Alaska must be packaged in an opaque, child-resistant container with a label that states the amount of THC present. The boilerplate statements listed below must be visible:
“Marijuana has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming and addictive. Marijuana impairs concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under its influence. There are health risks associated with the consumption of marijuana. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children. Marijuana should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.”
- Flower products must be packaged in resealable containers. It must calculate the total quantity of THC in the product per gram and indicate the package’s net weight of flower.
- Resealable packaging is only required if the product is meant for multiple uses.
- Edible packaging must have the amount of THC in a single dose and total amount included. Product ingredients do not need to be listed, but there must be an expiration date.
- Concentrate packaging must include the dispensary and manufacturer by a logo and license number.
Arizona’s cannabis packaging must include the following boilerplate warning:
“Marijuana use can be addictive and can impair an individual’s ability to drive a motor vehicle or operate heavy machinery. Marijuana smoke contains carcinogens and can lead to an increased risk for cancer, tachycardia, hypertension, heart attack, and lung infection. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN”
- The amount, strain, and batch number must all be listed on product packaging, as well as where the cannabis was grown/ processed, and how the dispensary received it.
- A list of all chemical ingredients used in the manufacturing of vaporizer extracts must be included on the product’s package.
- Edible packaging must include the total weight of the edible product and the corresponding amount of THC present.
California requires cannabis products to display the following boilerplate statement:
“Government warning: This product contains cannabis, a Schedule I controlled substance. Keep out of reach of children and animals. Cannabis products may only be possessed or consumed by persons 21 years of age or older unless the person is a qualified patient. The intoxicating effects of cannabis products may be delayed up to two hours. Cannabis use while pregnant or breastfeeding may be harmful. Consumption of cannabis products impairs your ability to drive and operate machinery. Please use extreme caution.”
- Flower packaging must include the cannabis strain’s common name and the batch’s THC percentage. Flower has to be in resealable packaging.
- Vaporizer extracts must be packaged in a container less than two fluid ounces in weight, with a calibrated dropper capable of measuring servings precisely.
- Edible packaging cannot look similar to the packaging used for non-cannabis food products. Also needs to include how many servings the product contains as well as nutritional data.
- Concentrate packaging must specify the strain and batch number of the marijuana used, contain a list of ingredients and indicates how many servings of THC are present.
Colorado requires all packaging to have the universal symbol for THC-containing products. Also requires the following boilerplate message for its cannabis products:
“There may be health risks associated with the consumption of this product. Marijuana has intoxicating effects. Driving under the influence of marijuana is against the law.”
- Flower packaging and vaporizer extract packaging must be opaque and child-resistant.
- Edible packaging cannot look similar to existing food products or be appealing to children. Nutritional data and expiry date information must be included.
- Concentrate packaging must state the amount of THC in each serving and be childproof.
Florida cannabis packaging must have the universal symbol for THC-containing products.
- The packaging must be child-resistant. In the case of multiple-use products and multi-serving edibles, the container shall be resealable such that it continues to be child-resistant after each use or serving.
- Packaging for products that are not edibles can be a single solid color or clear, but cannot be neon.
- The packaging for edibles has to be plain, opaque, and white. The packaging must list all the ingredients in order of prominence and point out allergens following the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004.
- All cannabis packaging cannot include any graphics or images other than one image of the MMTC’s department-approved logo and the universal symbol.
Hawaii’s packaging regulations state it must be child-resistant and opaque. Also must include the following boilerplate texts:
“For medical use only”, “Not for resale or transfer to another person”, and “use by date.”
- All packaging has to be black lettering only on a white background with no pictures or graphics.
- Contains information about the contents and potency of the product; includes the name of the production center where the cannabis was produced, including the batch number and date of packaging.
- All manufactured cannabis products need to be wrapped individually at the point of manufacture.
Illinois states that all packaging must include the universal symbol for THC-containing products. Also requires the following boilerplate message for its cannabis products:
“This product contains cannabis and is intended for use by adults 21 and over. Its use can impair cognition and may be habit-forming. This product should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. It is unlawful to sell or provide this item to any individual, and it may not be transported outside the State of Illinois. It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of cannabis. Possession or use of this product may carry significant legal penalties in some jurisdictions and under federal law.”
- Flower packaging must be sealed, and labeled in packaging that is child-resistant and opaque.
- All edible products must be wrapped individually and packaged at the original point of preparation.
- Concentrate packaging must contain the type of extraction method. All other chemicals or compounds used or were added need to be listed too.
In Maine, cannabis packaging must show the cultivation facility growing and harvesting the cannabis, as well as the weight and volume of the product.
- Flower packaging must be child-resistant and cannot feature characters, designs, or photos that might appeal to minors.
- Vaporizer extract packaging must be child-resistant and display a list of all potential allergens included.
- Edible packaging cannot look similar to commercially sold food products and lists all nutritional information.
- Concentrate packaging must list the amount of THC in each serving and be childproof.
Maryland requires cannabis manufacturers to package their products in plain, opaque, child-resistant packages that clearly state the following warnings:
“The contents may be lawfully consumed only by the qualifying patient named on the attached label. It is illegal for any person other than the qualifying patients to possess or consume the contents of this package. It is illegal to transfer the contents of this package to any person other than the caregiver of a qualifying patient. Keep away from children. In case of accidental ingestion call the Maryland Poison Control Center (800) 222-1222.”
- Flower packaging must display the name, strength, and weight of the dried cannabis it contains.
- Vaporizer extract packaging must include the name of the strain used and the strength of the dosage, as well as directions for safe usage.
- Edible packaging must not look like any commercially available food products and must contain comprehensive dosage information.
- Concentrate packaging must display all cannabinoid and terpene ingredients and their relative concentrations.
Massachusetts requires cannabis manufacturers to use plain, opaque containers that are childproof and display the following statement:
“This product may cause impairment and may be habit-forming. Marijuana impairs concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use only by adults 21 years of age. Keep out of the reach of children. Marijuana should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.”
- Flower packaging should be child-resistant and resealable. These packages may not be brightly colored or feature any marketing images potentially attractive to minors.
- Vaporizer extract packaging must specify the amount of THC in a single serving, which must be less than five milligrams.
- Edible packaging may not imitate commercial food products and must specify the serving size, number of servings, and dosage of each portion.
- Concentrate packaging must specify dosage information and warn customers that it contains multiple servings.
In Michigan, marijuana products must display a universal THC symbol alongside the cultivator’s ID number and the relative concentration of THC in the product. The following boilerplate text must be present as well:
“For use by registered qualifying patients only. Keep out of reach of children. It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. National Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222”
- Flower packaging must specify the name of the strain, the date of harvest, and the net weight of the product contained.
- Vaporizer extract must specify the name and license information of the manufacturer that created the product, as well as safety compliance testing data.
- There are no strict formal packaging requirements for edibles in Michigan, but business, dosage, and nutritional information should be readily visible.
- Concentrate packaging must include the batch number, dosage information, and business licensing data.
Montana medical marijuana program has not yet stipulated specific packaging requirements beyond the following for all flower, extract, edible, and concentrate products:
- Labels and packages must not be attractive to minors.
- Packaging graphics may not depict celebrities, minors, or images associated with minors.
- Packaging may not resemble the packaging for non-cannabis commercial products.
- Must include the universal THC symbol on the packaging.
Nevada’s cannabis packaging legislation is strict and highly specific. The state asks to specify the thickness of plastic containers. The following boilerplate copy must be visible on all packaging:
“Warning: This product may have intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming. Smoking is hazardous to your health. There may be health risks associated with the consumption of this product. Should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. For use only by the person named on the label of the dispensed product. Keep out of the reach of children. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug.”
- Flower packaging must be child-resistant, contaminant-free, and contain the batch control number from the original plant along with the harvest date, strain type, lot number, testing date, expiration date, potency, and quantity sold.
- Vaporizer extracts must be sealed using a metal crown cork-style bottle cap. Plastic containers holding marijuana-infused liquids must be at least 4 millimeters thick.
- Edible products must include THC concentration potency, testing data, production, packaging, and expiration dates as well as a list of ingredients and potential allergens.
- Concentrates must contain all of the same batch control and production information as flower, while also explaining the extraction process.
Oklahoma requires all cannabis products to note the name and address of the manufacturer alongside an official batch lot number and the net quantity of the contents. The following boilerplate text is mandatory:
“Keep out of reach of children. Women should not use marijuana or medical marijuana products during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. For accidental ingestion call 1-800-222-1222”
- Flower packaging must be child-resistant and contain a principal display panel that offers the name, weight, and type of marijuana product as well as the THC dosage in milligrams per unit.
- Vaporizer extracts follow the same rules as flower packaging, with the addition of instructions for how to safely use the product.
- Edible packaging must not contain graphics that appeal to minors. Edibles must contain a complete ingredients list as well as food allergen information and nutrition labeling.
- Concentrates must include instructions on how to safely use the product in a medical setting.
Oregon’s cannabis packaging must include the symbol for THC-containing products. Oregon-based manufacturers must tell users if pesticides were used on the plants, and they must feature the following boilerplate text:
“Marijuana has intoxicating effects. It is against the law to drive while intoxicated. For use by adults 21 or older. Keep out of reach of children. This product is not approved by the FDA to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
- Flower packaging must indicate the net weight and (if it is different, like in pre-rolls) the weight of usable marijuana in the container.
- Vaporizer extracts must disclose all of the relevant batch information from the specific marijuana plant used to manufacture the product as well as THC potency.
- Edibles must disclose the serving size and number of servings included. Edibles must also include nutritional data and the expiration date.
- Concentrates need to indicate whether they contain any ingredients that are not marijuana-derived.
Washington requires cannabis product manufacturers to disclose the use of pesticides on the original plants and identify how many 10-milligram serving sizes the product contains. The following boilerplate text is required:
“Marijuana has intoxicating effects. It is against the law to drive while intoxicated. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. This product contains marijuana. This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming. Should not be used by women that are pregnant or breastfeeding. For use only by adults twenty-one or older. Keep out of reach of children.”
- Flower packaging must be tamper-proof and child-resistant. The label must list the concentration of THC, the weight of the product, and batch number disclosure.
- Vaporizer extracts must be packaged in a tamper-proof plastic container more than 4 millimeters thick.
- Edible packaging cannot resemble commercially available food products nor look appealing to children. Edibles must list an expiry date and product ingredients.
- Concentrate packaging must display the dosage, potency, and net weight of the contents as well as the extraction process used.
Need help with your cannabis packaging and labels?
Are you looking to launch a cannabis business? In need of custom cannabis packaging? Here at Cannaline, we know how complex and confusing these regulations can seem. That is why our highly experienced team is here to help you.
Our in-house design team fully understands the laws and regulations, ensuring they can create the most eye-catching and fully compliant packaging, helping to save you time and money. Want to find out more? Get in touch today.
Payne, Aly. “Cannabis/Weed Packaging: How to Stay Compliant” Greenbits (blog), September 10, 2021, https://www.greenbits.com/blog/cannabis-packaging-compliance/.
Wallace, Alicia. “Cannabis is One Industry That’s Actually Coming Out of Covid Even Stronger” CNN Business, October 28, 2021.