With respect to packaging cannabis products, businesses in Canada have faced the challenge of branding without branding, so to speak. Most typical strategies for creating a brand identity are disallowed. Also, for many there are concerns about the amount of plastic being used for cannabis packages. However, both of these challenges are being approached in innovative ways that follow regulations set out by Health Canada. Above all else, it’s imperative to familiarize yourself with regulations for packaging. As always, it’s best to consult the regulatory documents directly and stay up to date with changes. For example, it was reported in 2019 that amendments would start to allow for “accordion” type labels that could fit onto smaller containers to reduce packaging waste. Before jumping to those amendments, start here with the basics.
Requirements for Containers
After you complete a cannabis course on processing, packaging, and seed-to-sale software, you will have an understanding of relevant concepts. These concepts, as well as courses on regulations, will help prepare you to meet requirements. Containers for cannabis must adhere to the following points, among others listed by Health Canada.
- Prevent contamination and keep dry products dry
- Have child-resistant features
- Have a security feature to ensure the package has not been opened before sale
- Restrict consumers from easily pouring or drinking any liquid products
- Not have cut-out windows
- Not have any raised features unless it is to facilitate opening or assist visually impaired persons
It is also worth noting that Health Canada regulates each layer of multi-layer packaging. For example, when edibles are wrapped in foil and another outer package, each layer is subject to regulations.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Labels
Labelling requirements are highly regulated for cannabis, as they must contain specific elements, each of which also has specific requirements. Do include:
- The cannabis symbol: This must appear on the label using their standardized CMYK/RGB colour codes
- The health warning: This is a regulated CMYK/RGB yellow rectangle with the warning in English and French using a sans-serif black typeface
- Class of cannabis, THC, and CBD information
- Brand name, licence holder information
- A testimonial or endorsement
- Any depictions of persons, characters, or animals
- Anything that would associate the brand with impressions of lifestyle, such as glamour
Another major regulation concerning packaging is that anything that might appeal to youths or children is strictly prohibited.
Why Is This Important for Cannabis Industry Training?
Similar to regulations around advertising and selling tobacco, liquor, and pharmaceuticals, regulations on cannabis packaging revolve around public safety. Requirements for cannabis businesses also highlight the importance of why cannabis industry training is a good idea for anyone interested in a career in this field. Here are some of the purposes of the packaging regulations that any cannabis professional should understand:
- Reduce risks of accidental consumption and over consumption
- Provide accurate product information to consumers
- Make health warnings prominent
While the cannabis market is young and growing, an understanding of what it means to package and sell a highly regulated product is necessary to get involved in the industry.
Are you looking for more information about cannabis industry careers?
Visit the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences today!