According to the latest reports, there are now 36 states that have some version of legalized medical cannabis, 14 states that have legalized recreational cannabis and 16 states that have decriminalized its use. All of this creates much confusion as states try to catch up with all the laws that will be required to accommodate this legalization.
Needless to say, many states are desperately trying to catch up with the required laws and regulations. Adding to the confusion is that federal laws still classify cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, which prevents the research so badly needed. Suffice it to say there is a lot of confusion depending upon which state you reside in.
This brings me to the proper packaging of Cannabis products that contain THC levels above 3/10ths of one percent. There are federal laws that regulate and require certified child resistant packaging requirements. There are a few regulatory agencies that will be very helpful in navigating your way through packaging regulation, requirements and laws.
The first agency is the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC). By their own definition, the “CPSC administers and enforces several federal laws. These laws authorize the agency to protect the public against unreasonable risks of injuries and deaths associated with consumer products”. I would direct you to their Regulations, Laws and Standards department at https://www.cpsc.gov/Regulations-Laws–Standards. There is a wealth of information here, but unfortunately the regulations for packaging cannabis products will be found under several agencies, acts and sets of laws and regulations. It is a lot to read and understand, which is why consultants are a good investment.
We will begin with the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA), which can be found at https://www.cpsc.gov/Regulations-Laws–Standards/Statutes/Poison-Prevention-Packaging-Act. As this article is about the regulations of cannabis packaging, I am particularly focused on child resistant (CR) tin packaging, as this is our expertise. Please keep in mind this information will be very helpful regardless of the type of packaging you intend to utilize.
Other agencies to be familiar with are the Consumer Product safety Act (CPSA), Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and the Child safety Protection Act (CSPA). I have provided many references in this article but there is obviously a lot of information to absorb. Child resistant packaging should include branding, great design and easy to use CR containers. A great CR container keeps children safe, are senior friendly and tin packaging will stay around for many years. Other critical considerations for CR packaging are manufacturing automation and fulfillment.
Additionally, please be aware that many states have implemented their own packaging regulations for the cannabis industry and often times do not provide any grace period. Ignorance of the law is still no excuse so please do your homework and utilize a consultant to be on the safe side. Federal and state compliance is required – no exceptions.
In the future, I will talk about the importance of CR products being certified, additional compliance issues, automation (you don’t need to be a huge company to be automated) and more.
Thank you for your time!