Easy-to-Open Packaging with Tough Freshness Protection

An AssurSeal® Case Study: Easy-to-Open Packaging with Tough Freshness Protection

September 23, 2021

Executive Summary

Despite the high quality of Natural State Medicinals’ gummies, some dispensaries refused to buy their products. Why? The packaging was difficult to open — and the problem only got worse when their packaging supplier changed production sites.

By switching to the patented AssurSeal® D75 package from AssurPack, Natural State Medicinals realized the following benefits:

  • Glowing praise from retailers who shunned their products before
  • A package with military-grade toughness that customers can use again and again
  • Easy one-handed operation — and even easier inventory counting
  • Unparalleled freshness protection

About Natural State Medicinals

Natural State Medicinals (NSM) is an Arkansas-based cultivator and infused product manufacturer. As a first-round license winner, NSM scored higher than any other applicant in 2016. Since then, the minority-owned company has become the largest operator in the state, selling products through dozens of retailers. NSM’s adage is to “figure out a way to say ‘yes’ and make it happen.”

The company’s line of gummies features five flavors that rotate on a seasonal basis for a total of twenty gourmet flavors per year. NSM’s in-house chef — an alum of Michelin-star restaurants — designed the edibles to be the type of product he wanted to buy, rather than a generic formula.

The Challenges of Cannabis Packaging

“Our market is pretty restrictive. We’re not allowed to poll our customers about our packaging or anything else, but we do go on social media for research,” says Matt Dedman, Vice President of Marketing and Merchandising at Natural State Medicinals.

Customers were posting about NSM’s difficult-to-open packaging on Facebook and joking about how they needed a butcher knife to get the job done. Worse still, some retailers “outright refused to buy [NSM’s] products,” citing difficult packaging as the reason.

The old packaging didn’t meet Dedman’s other standard either. His friend, who is a disabled veteran, could not open the package without a bench-mounted vise.

As a former serviceman himself, Dedman believes his friend — who lost two fingers in Afghanistan — should be able to open his medicines without needing an implement to do so. “He’s in his thirties and perfectly capable. So how could an older person with arthritis open it?”

The operability problem got even worse when their packaging supplier switched the production sites. The manufacturing quality was hit-and-miss, at best. That’s when Dedman contacted AssurPack®.

AssurSeal®: A Rugged Solution for Fresh Edibles (and Flower Too!)

When the AssurSeal® shipment arrived at NSM, Dedman switched over to the new package immediately — in the middle of a production run. They loaded their next box with AssurSeal-packed gummies and never looked back.

But before ordering AssurSeal®, Dedman spent weeks conducting his own military-tough testing on the new package. He found that AssurSeal® was more than an easy-opening, airtight solution for freshness protection — it stood up to every challenge he could throw at it.

Hard-Knocks Durability Testing

“I’m rough on my things anyway, but I was intentionally abusive to the AssurSeal®. I threw it in my backpack and banged it around for a couple of weeks. I dunked it, submerged it, held it under.”

“We wanted something easy to open like AssurSeal®, but our new package needed to stay closed too. Arkansans are an active crowd,” says Dedman. “Our gummies will probably take a tumble out of a Jeep Wrangler on I-40 or a dunk in the Buffalo River. I’m confident AssurSeal® can do all that and stay shut.”

Operating the AssurSeal®

The patented AssurSeal® employs a flip-top design that opens when the user presses a tab on the lid with their thumb. The lid remains attached to the body of the package when open, allowing one-handed operation and easy product dispensing. 

The AssurSeal® meets the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC-certified) for compliance in every jurisdiction. The package will not accidentally open, and it recloses again and again to protect kids.

AssurSeal®: The Ultimate Airtight Cannabis Package

Dedman reports that the AssurSeal® keeps NSM’s products fresher than ever before. In fact, AssurSeal’s excellent freshness protection means Dedman no longer needs to pack his gummies with desiccants. The package’s low vapor-transmission rate makes silica packs unnecessary.

In the lab, AssurSeal® scores the highest rank in airtightness tests according to the standards of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Third-party testing labs give it the top-tier rating of “USP671 Tight.” 

To date, no other cannabis package has equaled AssurSeal’s airtightness rating; it extends the life of products months longer than other child-resistant packaging on the market.

How Customers Like the AssurSeal®

“The general manager of one of our retailers just told me that he loves our packaging — our packaging specifically,” says Dedman. “We’ve gone from dispensaries not wanting to stock our products because of the packaging to that being a selling point.”

Retailers have appreciated the AssurSeal® D75’s stackability. The packages nest together so they can stack two- or three-units high on the shelf. That means NSM’s products are getting a more prominent display at the counter.

“AssurSeal’s stackability makes a billboard out of our product, and we’re finding that when dispensaries can house more inventory, they order more too.”

Customers Reuse AssurSeal® Again and Again

“Every time I’ve given someone the package with gummies in it, they’ve ended up reusing it for flower,” says Dedman. In effect, customers are taking a reminder of NSM’s brand with them everywhere they go.

Retailers report that the customers appreciate the new packaging too. It’s a familiar design, similar to a pharmaceutical bottle, but easier to use. And because cannabis hasn’t gained the acceptance in Arkansas that it has in other states, some patients appreciate the inconspicuous form factor and AssurSeal’s smell-tight seal.

Inventory is Easier with AssurSeal®

The stackability of AssurSeal® makes counting inventory easy for Dedman and retailers alike. Moreover, everyone appreciates the AssurSeal’s secondary packaging:

“I would honestly pay more just for the tray that comes in the box (that holds the AssurSeal® packages upright). You can count way more easily. And when our retailers open up our shipment, it looks really professional.”

Market Adoption of AssurSeal®

“Just a few weeks after we introduced the AssurSeal®, one of our local competitors called AssurPack® about switching over,” says Dedman. “I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

In one sense, Dedman doesn’t mind the competition using AssurSeal® too. “Nancy and the AssurPack® team have been great to work with,” he says. “I wish them all the success in the world.”

Ready to see AssurSeal® for yourself? 

Contact an AssurPack representative today for your free sample.