California’s New Packaging and Labeling Laws For Cannabis Products

What to expect on the labels and packages of cannabis products in California.

California’s new packaging and labeling laws and regulations include much stronger restrictions than they did in the past. In fact, any leftover cannabis that doesn’t meet the current standards is supposed to be destroyed. The California Department of Public Health has released new resources to assist cannabis manufacturers and other businesses. We’ll go over everything you need to know about the new packaging and labeling requirements.

Packaging Requirements

The Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act suggests businesses protect the product from contamination. They say to package manufactured cannabis products before transferring them. Cannabis flowers can be packaged by cultivators, manufacturers or distributors.

On the other hand, there are a few mandatory packaging requirements that are more strict.

All cannabis products must be “tamper evident.” There should be a plastic seal or sticker that would be ripped if opened. Consumers should be able to tell whether a product has been opened before.

If a product is intended for multiple uses, it must be inside a resealable package.

Edible products are supposed to be in opaque bags so that the contents can’t be seen.

Finally, all products must be packaged in a way that keeps them away from children. The package can’t imitate packaging used for non-cannabis food products or anything typically marketed to children.

In conclusion, packaging must be:

  • Tamper Evident
  • Resealable
  • Opaque (for edibles)
  • Child Resistant

Labeling Requirements

On top of packaging requirements, there is a new set of labeling rules that marijuana businesses will have to abide by.

All information should be displayed clear enough to read. The THC and CBD content should be visible on the front or top part of the package so most customers can see them on display at a dispensary.

Label laws are forcing manufacturers to be more honest about their products. Now, they cannot include any California county names unless a hundred percent of the cannabis was grown there. There can’t be any untrue information on the label including unproven health claims.

Like the packaging, labels cannot be attractive to children. That means no cartoons or images popularly used to advertise to children. Furthermore, you can’t use the words “candy” or “candies” anywhere on the label.

There two main labels are the primary panel and an informational panel. Both must be in English with a minimum of 6 point font.

The primary panel must have:

  • The universal symbol for products containing cannabis in California.
  • There should be a generic or common name to describe the product like lotion, cartridge, tincture, etc.
  • The net weight or volume.
  • THC and CBD content should be visible on the primary panel.

Information panels require:

  • The manufacturer name and contact information.
  • Date of manufacture.
  • List of ingredients.
  • Instructions for use or preparation.
  • Unique tracking number issued through Track-and-Trace.
  • Government warning statements in capital letters and bold font.
  • “FOR MEDICAL USE ONLY” on non-edible products with more than 1000mg THC.
  • Expiration, use-by or best-by date if there are any.
  • Batch number

Edible products have additional labeling requirements including:

  • The words “Cannabis-Infused” must be listed above the generic or common name that describes the product.
  • Sodium, sugar, carbohydrates and total fat in grams per serving.
  • List of any major food allergens in the product.
  • Artifical food coloring content.

California’s New Packaging and Labeling Laws

There are many new rules for California cannabis businesses to follow. In the past, California businesses didn’t need to lab test or present those results on their products. And there was no one to fact check the claims on their packaging.

From here on out, consumers will enjoy much more transparency while businesses are held to higher standards.

Hanna, ByAb. “California Packaging and Labeling Laws For Weed Just Changed.” Green Rush Daily, 5 July 2018, greenrushdaily.com/business/californias-new-packaging-and-labeling-laws-for-cannabis-products/.

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