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The Rising Tide of Child Resistant Cannabis Packaging

Cannabis is now a billion-dollar industry. As cannabis companies operate in the ether without clear guidelines and regulations, lawmakers are forced to step in and make dramatic changes. These changes include clear warnings, ingredients, THC and CBD content, and child-resistant packaging.

Creating a Safe Environment

It was found that in Colorado, two years after the legalization of marijuana, there was a 30% increase in pediatric cannabis intoxication.

Often, intoxication leads to children becoming off-balance, agitated, or disoriented. In more severe cases, children can have seizures or go into comas. In a few rare cases, children with marijuana intoxication lead to heart failure.

It’s easy to see why children's safety is one of the main priorities when it comes to cannabis laws. In every state with laws regarding cannabis, the inclusion of child-resistant packaging on all cannabis products is ubiquitous. To quote the Colorado retail marijuana code, child-resistant packaging is defined as:

  • Designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five years of age to open and not difficult for normal adults to use

  • Opaque so that the product cannot be seen from outside the packaging

  • Closable for any product intended for more than a single use or containing multiple servings

  • Labeled properly as required [by the State]

The above definitions for child-resistant packaging are the same for all states with a few minor differences. If cannabis becomes legal in the entire US, it’s likely that these rules will be adopted nationwide.

Child-Resistant Design

The design of cannabis packaging is crucial because it effectively acts as a physical barrier against child-use. The packaging that’s seen in today's’ market is filled with easy to open

packaging. Children can effortlessly unwrap a cannabis-infused lollipop without understanding the danger that it poses.

The new laws being put into place are changing the way cannabis products are packaged. Whether the product is a concentrate, flower, or edible, it must be difficult for children to open. The days of cannabis edibles wrapped in clear plastic packing secured by a ribbon are quickly coming to an end. Instead, flexible bags and pouches with child resistant closures are becoming ubiquitous and are helping to keep children out of harm's way.

Non-Transparent Packaging

According to the new regulations, flowers, concentrates, waxes, and edibles must be in opaque packaging. This means that nothing on the inside can be seen from the outside. This is especially important for edibles, which can take the form of candies, cookies and other sweets, which may appeal to children.

Professional Logos

Regulators are taking aim at any cannabis company that utilizes a cartoon-figure for their logo. These cartoonish designs inherently appeal to children, thus making them curious about the contents of a package. These new rules restrict cannabis companies from using popular phrases or advertising methods, such as bright colors and childish aesthetics.

Clearly Defined Labels

New regulations call for clearly defined labels on cannabis packaging. This means that a standard symbol is used to declare that a package contains a cannabis-based product clearly. Although the symbol may vary from state to state, the currently adopted sign is a large exclamation point.

Transparency is vital in preventing children from accidentally ingesting cannabis-based products. Lawmakers have created a list of requirements that must be clearly visible on each package.

  • Company name and contact information

  • Date of manufacture

  • Warnings regarding effects

  • Ingredients

  • Best used by date

  • Unique identifier


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