Packaging and labeling is vitally important in the cannabis industry. Not paying attention to these things can be an expensive oversight.

After legalizing marijuana for medical use, Colorado saw a rise in emergency-room visits by children who had ingested pot. The Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Colorado School of Public Health conducted studies and predicted that accidental marijuana ingestion by children would be cut nearly in half if the state required child-resistant, opaque packaging for any marijuana product leaving dispensaries. As a result, Colorado and most other states have adopted tight regulations on marijuana packaging and labeling.

Why Regulate Packaging?

Child-resistant packaging is one of Colorado’s most important rules for cannabis dispensaries and retail shops.  All retail products from brownies to buds must be placed in containers that are both child-resistant and opaque. The purpose of this is to stop the underage use of marijuana and to prevent children from accidentally consuming marijuana. Accidentally ingesting a high-potency infused product might put a child’s health at risk.

What Are the Consequences for Failing to Comply With Colorado’s Cannabis Packaging Laws?

Serious consequences can result for dispensaries and marijuana businesses that fail to comply with packaging regulations. One Colorado dispensary ordered over $30,000 worth of packaging that was opaque on one side but clear on the other side. The company ended up taking a $30,000 loss as the packaging could not be used because both sides were not opaque. Penalties for noncompliance with Colorado’s laws can range from minor to severe, depending upon the offense.  Authorities can levy a fine, suspend your license or even close your facility. Therefore, it is extremely important to be sure that the labeling and packaging of all cannabis products is compliant with Colorado law.

How Can I Be Compliant?

If you sell marijuana products, concentrates or edibles of any kind in Colorado, it is important to know that packaging must be childproof and opaque. Your packaging should not be easily opened or attractive to children. If the marijuana product packaging is not child-resistant, you must place that container within an exit package that is child resistant. To stay compliant, cannabis packaging should not include the words candies, candy or have pictures of cartoons. In addition, packaging must:
  • Include relevant information for consumers
  • Have clear and easy-to-read labeling text (must be > 1/16th inch)
  • Should not include health or physical claims
  • Be closable for any product that contains multiple servings or is intended for more than a single use
  • Be printed in English
  • Include Colorado’s Universal THC Symbol
  • List all ingredients if the label is for an edible marijuana product
These are just a few of the requirements for packaging in Colorado. For a complete list of packaging and labeling requirements, visit the MED’s website. By following the rules and regulations of Colorado law for properly packaging cannabis products, you can avoid fines, loss of revenue and even more dire consequences. Stay tuned to for more industry news, tips and trends.

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