While the cannabis and hemp industries position themselves for validity in markets around the world, packaging manufacturers on the frontlines are focusing on the point of sale.
“What” your favorite products are packaged “in” can be just as important as the contents.
Don’t think so?
Would you eat a handful of beef jerky from an unsealed plastic bag? Would you consume any federally regulated product if its packaging was compromised?
Of course, you wouldn’t.
The industry perspective
Lisa Buffo, founder and CEO of the Cannabis Marketing Association, said “CBD is regulated largely by the FDA.”
The regulations state in-part “you must hold components and dietary supplements under appropriate conditions of temperature, humidity, and light so the identity, purity, strength, and composition of the components and dietary supplements are not affected,” she continued. “There are certain types of packaging and containers that meet these conditions.”
Packaging is broadly considered under the FD&C Act and 2018 Farm Bill. Specifically, 21 CFR 111.4555(a) ensures standards for manufacturing, packaging, and labeling, while state-specific regulations may also apply.
“Good packaging can ensure a higher quality product and meet compliance standards,” Buffo said. “Be sure to approach packaging with compliance in mind first and always check with legal counsel to ensure you’ve checked all appropriate boxes.”
Barrier bags to the rescue
They’re used to seal gases, water vapor, odor, and light, and according to the World Packaging Organization, “resealable barrier bags are a viable solution to radically shrink global food waste.”
In the CBD business, packaging must also display clear labeling, milligrams per dose, and an array of childproofing features.
The manufacturing advantage of barrier bags provides the cannabis and hemp industries with a secure means of transportation from the aisle to the home. If it is torn, you will know. If it has been opened, you will know.
Currently, security measures are also being implemented that go the extra mile, and as cannabis elbows its way into the daily bazaar, what’s better than added safety measures to convert the skeptical consumer?
Innovations like tamper-proof packaging is already being put into use. Whether it is beef jerky, trail mix, CBD products, or fishing lures, the product must be protected before and after the bag has been opened.
Double check that bag
Most parents sift through the pile of Halloween candy before letting their little goblins, transformers, and Disney superheroes dive in, but now they’ll need to take a little more time in the stores as well.
This past Halloween, some state attorney generals warned parents to be on the lookout for cannabis edibles that look like regular snacks.
How bad would you feel if you just fed a group of five and six-year-old old boys THC infused candy or snacks?
Recently, the Attorney General from Connecticut, William Tong, issued a news release warning parents about cannabis packaging designed to look like popular candy and snack brands.
The release included images of edible products that looked like Oreo, Sour Patch Kids and Cheetos snack packages.
With cannabis packaging still in its infancy, the best means of wrapping and distributing product requires a careful consideration of federal and state guidelines, especially in a business sector just getting fired up.
To the consumer, remaining safe before and after a CBD container has been opened will remain a critical talking point until the industry as matured into a fully regulated entity.
About the Author:
Mark McClure is the vice president of operations at flexible packaging company International Plastics in Greenville, S.C.