What's the Best Packaging for Cannabis?

If you're a manufacturer of cannabis products, a starting cannabusiness, or even a marketer tasked to help develop a marijuana brand line, you are confronted with an enormous task in deciding on the most suitable cannabis packaging.

The challenges lie in the face of heavy restrictions, ever-changing laws, and state-specific rules around cannabis products. Glass jars, plastic, cardboard, silicone, and acrylic are just a few of the options available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. 

Aside from distinguishing itself from the competition, each must be suited for the product, preserve its freshness, satisfy legal compliance standards, and be cost-effective. 

After putting so much time and effort into growing, harvesting, and processing your cannabis product, you may now be wondering what it takes to pick the right type of packaging.

What’s the best packaging for cannabis? Continue reading to discover the best cannabis packaging to match your product, budget, and brand.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Cannabis Packaging

One of the recurring issues that cannabrands of all sizes confront is obtaining distinctive branded packaging while maintaining profit margins. 

There are four crucial considerations to make before diving into specialized packaging options.

1. Consumer Preference - What do your customers want and need?

First and foremost, determine who your target market is. Are you targeting budget-conscious shoppers, seasoned smokers searching for top-of-the-line products, or a demographic in the middle?

IMPORTANT: You must address their preferences and requirements in your packaging.

Once you've identified your target market, please do your best to see things from their perspective. Visualizing the complete process from when they first encounter your product on the shelf to when they use it is a beneficial exercise.

Think of where they will take the product after purchase, consume it, and the features that will thrill them the most. All of this will help you find the ideal packaging option for your product and type of cannabis product format.

2. Brand Image - How would you like your customers to see and remember your cannabrand?

The next thing is to consider the look and feel that complements your brand's image. Setting aside the time to contemplate this will help you choose the right packaging material and design.

If you are going for a high-end look and feel, you may want to use glass instead of plastic tubs. But if you are targeting a budget-conscious consumer, you may want to go for a cost-effective alternative such as mylar bags.

NOTE: For the eco-conscious brand, flexible pouches undoubtedly take up less landfill space.

Since cannabis is an agricultural crop with no natural "branding," it's essential to produce and market your own. Details such as unique styles of lids, colored containers, and customized graphics may help your product stand out from the crowd.

3. Safety Factors - What situational elements and packaging details should you look at?

While many people have either a favorable or unfavorable opinion about cannabis, we can't forget that it is still a drug in the truest meaning of the word and should be treated as such.

Its advantages are many, but you must exercise precautionary measures to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands as with any other medical product.

IMPORTANT: Child safety is paramount, especially when following marijuana packaging regulations.

In some states, child-resistant packaging is a requirement. However, experts recommend including it as a standard even if the laws don't apply in your area. Because the rules appear to be changing all the time, including child-resistant features in your bags from the start might save you money in the long run.

Also, medical-grade cannabis edibles must be packaged in a well-sanitized room or a facility that satisfies GMP standards. Still, a regular chocolate bar may only require food-grade packaging. This is not to argue that one is less valuable than the other, but packaging requirements may differ based on the consumer and application.

BOOST YOUR BRANDING: Demonstrating to customers that you care about their health and their children's safety evokes confidence and trust in your business.

While recreational users and patients may be more concerned with how effectively cannabis packaging preserves the product's potency, freshness, and aroma, startup cannabrands and businesses must ensure that their packaging is both protective and complies with federal standards.

For both the flower and edibles, a tamper-evident reclosable cannabis storage bag will be your best choice.

4. State Regulations - What kind of rules take precedence over the packaging choices you currently want?

The legal cannabis edibles market has evolved, as have packaging options for both retail and pharmaceutical products. When manufacturing cannabis edibles, using packaging that regulates humidity is vital since sweating may lead to mold and condensation.

Manufacturers of cannabis edibles must also ensure that their packaging is tamper-proof, child-resistant, and compliant with local regulations.

Understanding the standards and requirements for the necessary packaging is critical. Since these regulations are continually changing and there are no universal national laws, companies must keep up with the ongoing regulatory adjustments to be compliant and protect the general public's welfare. 

NOTE: The state where your business is located impacts your packaging choices. Some states only allow cannabis sales for medicinal use, requiring you to use food-grade packaging.

At Pouch Me, you can count on us to help you create the correct and current regulatory compliance verbiage for controlled substances in their respective states. Use our (more than) a decade of experience and vast knowledge to help you get professional packaging for your products.

Advantages of Using Flexible Pouches For Cannabis

Allow us to take this opportunity to share a few comparisons to explain why flexible packaging can make an equally or more effective option for cannabis packaging. 

Here are some of the arguments people make when comparing traditional packaging methods to flexible child-proof bags.

1. Glass is a Safer and More Suitable Material

Some people argue that glass is the safer and more effective material since it is non-porous and gives your cannabis products a longer shelf-life.

While we share the view that the conventional small plastic bag is inadequate for extending the shelf life of cannabis, flexible packaging has several advantages over rigid containers. These include easier transit, more product that can fit on dispensary shelves, and more "retail space" for cannabrands to showcase their distinct designs, graphics, and logos, as well as legal dosage specifications and labels.

Glass jars are prone to shattering, making them a risky packaging option for consumers. Cracked glass also enables hazardous external pollutants to come into touch with cannabis. Furthermore, since glass is heavy, it necessitates extra fuel and CO2 emissions during shipping the product inside the package.

On the other hand, flexible child-resistant bags aid in preserving and extending shelf life, with the added benefit of allowing excess air to escape the package each time it is reclosed.

Consumers, particularly those using medicinal cannabis for arm, wrist, or joint discomfort, will appreciate the zip closure at the top. Glass jar lids, let's admit, are a hassle to open. Zip closures are easier to open and reclose, and the childproof zipper is particularly designed to prevent little children from accessing the packaging.

2. Glass Cannabis Packaging Allows Buyers to View the Product

When it comes to selecting the best strain, without a clear picture of the product, the buyer is left with no choice but to trust their instinct.

Cannabis packaging is required to be opaque in several states, and it is great if you don't need to worry about keeping your packaging opaque where you currently sell and operate. However, regulations constantly change, and opaque cannabis packaging seems to be the most favored direction, so consider this, and the trouble of needing to scrap your current packaging should this rule take hold where you are.

However, brands may enhance transparency by printing their labels and product information on the exterior of their tamper-proof reclosable cannabis bag. Because jars are cylindrical, you can only add printed information about the product on the label or the lid. There is more "retail space" to add transparency on a flexible pouch compared to a jar.

3. Biodegradable Materials and Glass is the Best Option for the Environmentally Conscious

While the United States' recycling rate has risen over time, more rubbish is being produced than ever before. As a result, glass jars are just as likely as any other sort of packaging to wind up in landfills.

On the other hand, flexible pouches are more environmentally friendly, and end consumers can recycle them with R7-coded materials.

If you want to preserve a product's freshness, we don't advocate utilizing biodegradable packaging materials. Because it's designed to break down when exposed to light, UV rays, and other factors, it might degrade the quality of the substance within.

Using biodegradable materials puts both your packaging and your product at risk. You risk damaging the quality and potency of your quality cannabis product unless you choose robust packaging that blocks out light, oxygen, moisture, and germs.

4. Medical-Grade Silicone-Lined Packaging is the Best for Cannabis Concentrates

Proper packaging allows for product accessibility, visibility, and freshness preservation. Nothing is more aggravating than buying two grams of oil and being unable to scrape 20% of it off the plastic package.

However, if accessibility concerns you, flexible pouches with a childproof zipper are the best option. Adults can get the complete product out by using a convenient zip-lock function that has been thoroughly tested to keep children out.

Rather than being made of paper, these bags have laminate on them to prevent products from sticking to them. Many buyers choose pouches because they allow them to squeeze out every last drop of product, increasing total value.

5. For Cannabis Concentrate Packaging, Detailed Labeling is Very Important

We entirely agree that labeling is critical for informing customers about cannabis concentrates and ensuring that your business adheres to strict rules.

The advantage of flexible packaging is that it can be entirely personalized, allowing you to print all of your branding information directly on the child-resistant pouches rather than wasting precious time adhering paper labels to each bag.

What's the Best Packaging for Cannabis?

Choosing the right packaging shouldn't be guesswork, nor should it be a dreaded chore with stressful implications. We can help you get started with professional, protective, flexible packaging that creates a memorable brand.

Flexible packaging, in general, is quickly becoming a market leader for all consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. Because it's still new to the US market, brands that use this sort of packaging will stand out when compared to conventional jars, cartons, traditional plastic baggies, and so on. 

Custom printing on these pouches allows you to differentiate yourself from the competition by utilizing your logo, images, color schemes, fonts, and so on.

Exit bags that are flexible and child-resistant may be made in various sizes and designs, allowing for consistent branding and ensuring that each cannabrand follows the serving size and dosage guidelines.

If you need help determining the best type of flexible packaging for your cannabis edibles or flowers, reach out to us today and our packaging experts will consult for free.


- What's the Best Packaging for Cannabis? FAQs -

What kind of bags do dispensaries use?

Most dispensaries use mylar exit bags with childproof zippers.

How long do smell-proof bags last?

The bags are reusable and may be revived if required, reusing them to make the most out of each flexible packaging pouch.

Are dispensary bags smell-proof?

Dispensary bags are typically made of quality heat-sealed mylar to help keep out odors and light.

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