Marijuana Packaging Regulation: All Cannabis Products Should be in Opaque Packaging

The report provides in-depth information directly relating to regulatory recommendations for marijuana product packaging and labeling. The recommendations were created by a multi-disciplinary stakeholder Committee that has a strong interest in cannabis packaging. Each recommendation made relating to marijuana packaging is neatly supported by a block of text that delves into the logical reasoning as to why the committee developed that recommendation. All recommendations were based on facts and information taken from surveys, federal legal research, and policy discussions. There is a strong use of model regulatory language in the report, which is especially helpful for lawmakers and regulators working in legal cannabis states. The topics discussed in the report range from child proof marijuana packaging to reusable & recyclable cannabis packaging recommendations.

The Rationale Behind Opaque Marijuana Packaging

Recommendation 17 of the Cannabis Packaging and Labeling/Regulatory Recommendations for States and Nations report focuses on opaque packaging and recommend that all cannabis products be dispensed in opaque packaging. There are numerous reasons as to why this type of marijuana packaging is suggested, with one of the most important being that scientific evidence backs up the fact that such packaging is less appealing to adolescents. It has always been a major concern that certain types of cannabis packaging can specifically entice adolescents and young children to want to try marijuana even though in all states it is prohibited for their consumption. Scientific evidence also confirms that opaque packaging for cannabis products makes it less likely that a child under the age of seven will try to ingest marijuana.

What Is Opaque Marijuana Packaging?

Opaque marijuana packaging is a type of packaging that cannot be seen through. The package must be opened for the actual cannabis to be seen. This steers young children away from being interested in what is inside because they can’t see it. Take a bag of candy or chips for instance. Many of them come in packaging that is see-through, particularly candy. A child is enticed to open the package because they can already see what’s inside. This is not the case with cannabis products that are stored in opaque packaging.

Opaque Marijuana Packaging is Better for the Product

It is also recommended that marijuana products be kept in opaque packaging because they lose their potency when exposed to light. This means when stored in opaque packaging they are essentially being shielded from light-related degradation. Not only does recommendation 17 come because of the committee who created the recommendations, but it also stems from the fact that “the U.S. Pharmacopeia requires light-resistant containers to protect certain drugs from the effects of light, which includes opaque containers and translucent containers affixed with an opaque covering.”

To help prevent underage ingestion of marijuana and cannabis products, opaque packaging should be used for all cannabis products, including those that are smoked and ingested orally, such as edibles. In the event that some type of translucent packaging is used, there should be an opaque covering on the outside to prevent children from being able to see the contents inside.

The Takeaway: Cannabis Packaging Recommendation 17

The Cannabis Packaging & Labeling: Regulatory Recommendations for States & Nations covers many aspects of marijuana packaging. The goal is to make sure all cannabis products are sold and kept in a safe and secure manner so that they stay out of the hands of underage consumers. Recommendation 17 also relates to preserving the quality of the cannabis products.  Following the recommendations set forth in The Cannabis Packaging & Labeling: Regulatory Recommendations for States & Nations is a great way to ensure proper measures are being taken to enforce a standard way of packaging cannabis products.

See the full report at this link:


Bill Ludlow
Bill Ludlow
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