Cannabis cultivators and extract manufacturers have to try to appease starkly different interests with their packaging. Industry professionals want to advertise their products in the best way possible while government regulators demand subtlety. Foil printing, while desirable from the industry standpoint, is far too flashy to be a realistic packaging choice.
As new legal cannabis markets are opened, the regulations surrounding the plant and its derivative products become more entrenched. For instance, legalized cannabis is coming to Canada. Two months ago, Health Canada released mockups of the type of packaging that you might see in dispensaries. (1)
The packaging is purposefully bland. Canada law requires that cannabis packaging is a single color with absolutely nothing printed on it beyond the company logo and a health warning.
“That made us sort of stop and go: OK, so we’re going to have these restrictions in place for packaging,” Linda Burlison, director of digital marketing and commercialization for Canadian-based MedReleaf, said. (2)
“How can we continue to get the word out to people without perhaps featuring the packaging we might have hoped to have had out there?”
Canada’s laws are strict but that’s the way the industry is trending. Legal markets in the U.S. have similar rules. Most American dispensaries use child-resistant, mylar exit bags. (3)
When it comes to cannabis packaging, being discreet is key.
There are a few markets where foil printing isn’t explicitly banned but the beautiful packaging will have to be stuffed into a nondescript exit bag.
“Plain packaging that treats cannabis like tobacco is outrageous and scientifically wrong,” Cam Battley, chief corporate officer of Aurora Cannabis told Bloomberg. (4)
Cannabis industry professionals might not like the packaging rules but consumer safety trumps everything else. Foil printing is a good idea from an advertising perspective but it’s too noticeable to be a realistic choice for most cannabis companies.