Frequently Asked Questions About Cannabis Packaging

How is cannabis packaging different? 

Cannabis packaging will not always be different from your standard pharmaceutical packaging, but use cases for each package should be tailored per product. Across the board, cannabis packaging needs to be child-resistant to comply with state laws. Pharmaceutical products tend to run a standard form factor in how they’re presented, which makes pharma packaging easier to craft. With cannabis, you have various usage groups that packaging needs to accompany, whether that’s airtight packaging for items like flower and pre-rolls, which helps prevent degradation, or topicals packaging, which needs to be easily accessible yet child-resistant. Differences and needs in packaging vary from shapes and sizes to additional needs to support the product itself. These features (like opacity or materials) tend to be prevalent in most packaging unless a state requires specific designs and functions for packaging. 

What is compliant cannabis packaging?

The commonality that exists between all markets for packaging compliance is child resistance. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has guidelines to ensure a child can’t get into packaging and ingest its contents. At its core, AssurPack® was founded by Pharmaceutical Packaging professionals, meaning its founders faced the most stringent and harsh laws for compliance. Coming from this environment caused AssurPack® to be ready for a time when cannabis packaging would face the same challenges as Pharma packaging. All AssurPack® packaging is lab-tested and approved by the CPSC as up to code with 16 CFR 1700.20. If you want something with the highest level of protection by the CPSC, look into F=1-rated packaging.

To ensure compliance with your packaging, you’ll also want to consider labeling requirements, which vary state by state. 

What’s F=1? 

F=1 is the highest protection rating by the CPSC, denoting that each dosing is individually child-resistant. This helps prevent child exposure and consumption when consumers don’t reclose non-F=1-rated packaging. 

Why is airtight packaging for cannabis important?

Typically, closure tightness is called airtightness in cannabis packaging, even though that isn’t necessarily true. “Airtight” cannabis packaging refers to the moisture transmission rate that the packaging allows for. Terpenes, cannabinoids, and moisture in cannabis are significant factors that can determine the quality of your finished product. Always be sure to check with your packaging provider to see if they have the criteria to claim that they have airtight packaging.

The highest tightness rating that packaging can have is USP: 671 Tight, which has met specific criteria set out by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP).  

How do you label cannabis packaging? 

Labeling can be challenging due to different market landscapes and requirements. Although certain aspects like product quantity, potency, and the THC chemical warning symbol are usually required across the board, regularly reviewing the specific regulations applicable to your area can be meticulous and challenging. Once you have finalized your label design, be prepared for regulation updates. Cannabis packaging label regulations can change frequently, posing an issue for manufacturers and potentially leading to surplus unusable stock and operational costs to change packaging.

Some businesses handle their labeling through either a labeling company or a packaging provider. This approach simplifies the production process and transfers the responsibility of adhering to regulatory compliance to dedicated experts who design and produce the labels.

What are cannabis packaging MOQs?

Minimum order quantities are a big part of the packaging equation, and you need a provider that will scale with your operation instead of gatekeeping you from buying what you need. Working with a packaging provider that has stock packaging allows you to have low-MOQs which can translate to cost savings and quicker lead times.

What is the best packaging for cannabis flower?

Proper packaging is essential when it comes to cannabis flower due to the volatile nature of the chemicals that the buds contain. The best packaging for cannabis flowers will be “airtight” (USP 671: Tight) and UV-resistant to keep your flower quality intact. Airtight containers help keep moisture within the packaging, so there are no issues with bud drying out, and UV light tends to degrade terpenes and cannabinoids at an accelerated rate.

At AssurPack®, we developed the AssurSeal to preserve cannabis flowers of the highest quality. We made this packaging specifically for flower preservation and the ability to fit in your pocket for portability.

How to keep cannabis products fresh in packaging?

As we covered above, an airtight container helps to keep moisture from leaving, keeping your buds moist and at a proper consistency. Other methods used to keep flowers fresh in packaging are using Boveda humidity packets, which help regulate the humidity inside the packaging, and using either an orange peel or a piece of lettuce, which also helps to do the same.

What is the best packaging for cannabis gummies?

Like any other cannabis products, edibles can expire and lose their color, consistency, and potency over time. Like flower packaging, you’ll want airtight and UV-resistant packaging to keep your product fresh. Over time, THC will degrade to CBN when faced with oxygen. Ensure your gummies stay away from heat and humid environments so there’s no chance of mold growing on them. 

At AssurPack®, we have nine different packaging types developed for gummies. All of them are engineered for cannabis products and fully compliant in all markets.

What’s the best packaging for edibles?

There isn’t a set best packaging type for edible products, each of them needs to be tailored to the specific needs and form factors of the products. Packaging that may work best for gummies might not work the best for chocolate (clamshell style) or lozenges (tins). Some edibles are one solid piece that are perforated to allow consumers to break them apart, whereas others are individual pieces. If you’re looking to preserve edibles for the longest period possible, consider using airtight packaging to keep them fresh. 

Can blister packs be used as molds for edibles?

Yes! Instead of buying molds based on the packaging and transferring finished products into the packaging, you can use the blister pack molds for edibles to save time and money in your process. 

Who sells heat-sealing equipment for blister packs?

AssurPack® offers heat-sealing solutions.  We have heat sealers that help showcase the tamper-evidence seals on your product and keep it in-house for optimal production. 

When is it best to automate cannabis packaging?

Automation is a major part of scaling your operation. Introducing automation and streamlining product production saves you money over the long run but can be a significant upfront investment. 

Suppose you’re interested in automating your packaging process. In that case, you’ll first want to make sure that the equipment you’re looking at is compatible with the packaging you want to use and meets your specifications: production capacity, energy usage, and range of packaging compatibility.