Why Should I Care About Cannabis Packaging and Labeling Requirements?

Leif Price

Although Oregon holds the honor of being the USA’s first state to have decriminalized cannabis usage back in the 1970s, the regulations regarding its use are still subject to change. One of the areas in which change is sometimes made is in terms of the packaging and labelling requirements for cannabis products to be sold in the state. In August 2018, new rules came into force as the OLCC (Oregon Liquor Control Commission) took over responsibility for cannabis labelling from the OHA (Oregon Health Authority). This change merged both the OLCC and the OHA’s rules together, bringing even more clarity to the regulations for packaging and labelling of cannabis products. Although these new regulations don’t need to be in effect until 1 April 2019, it’s important for those working within the cannabis industry to be aware of the changes and to comply with them.

Child-Resistant Packaging

The primary consideration is that children should not be attracted to cannabis product packaging and that they should not be able to open them, and therefore childproof containers with no colorful or appealing images is the best place to begin. To comply with local regulations, cannabis product containers must be constructed and designed to be very hard for any child under the age of 5 to open without being so complex to use that adults are unable to utilize them properly. The packaging must be opaque so no product can be seen from the outside and, in the case of any product containing several servings, it must also be re-closable. The packaging must not display any bright colors and must not depict any images except the facility’s logo and no cartoons at all, even if they are part of the facility’s logo although the universal marijuana symbol must be displayed.

Hemp Now Included

These new rules don’t just apply to marijuana products, they also now apply to industrial hemp products. This means that both types of product require clear labels and if a product contains both hemp and marijuana, it must be identified on the label as a cannabis item. This now also means that products derived from industrial hemp must be packed in child-resistant, resealable containers. Hemp products must now display a hemp symbol instead of the marijuana symbol.

Listing Of Added Substances

Added substances are now defined in the new rules as any additional ingredient or component which has been added to cannabinoid extracts, concentrates or marijuana either after or during processing. Added substances include terpenes and flavors as well as any substance used to change the consistency or viscosity of the product..

Labeling Changes

In the new rules, there is no longer any Flag Labels distinctions, however tiny container and small container labels have requirements of their own. There is also no longer any required for test batch numbers to be provided on labels.

Although in the past there was a rule which stated the regulation font size and type, this has been changed to simply a regulation which states that the font is legible and simple to read with sufficient contrast with the packaging’s background an a height of a minimum of 1/16”. New warning requirements now read “do not drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana” and “keep out of reach of children.”

Complying With The Rules

In order to comply with the new rules, all existing licensees have to resubmit their applications for packing and labelling to obtain pre-approval before 1 April 2019. Items which are already on shelves for sale and which meet the old regulations will still be permitted to be sold until 31 December 2019. Failure to comply with the rules will result in a civil penalty of as much as $500 a day.

Packaging is a critical part for any marketing plan of a business. It is the stage where a consumer’s journey will choose the product and make the actual purchase. To be sure you are compliant as well attract long term customers, it best to seek the services of a professional cannabis marketing agency, like Nug Digital Marketing. You may contact them at 503-477-4355 or email at nug@nugdigitalmarketing.com.


Law & Business