Compliant Cannabis Packaging 101

No matter where you find yourself within California’s new legal cannabis regime, you should be concerned about product packaging.

It is presently unlawful to distribute – or even create – packaging for cannabis products that is not in compliance with key provisions of the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), as well as the proposed emergency regulations issued by the state’s three cannabis licensing authorities on November 16, 2017. If you pay careful attention to the language therein, you will also note that liability for non-compliance can potentially attach to each party in the supply chain.

So on top of all the branding considerations that go into your company’s packaging design, there are several crucial legal considerations that must be addressed. Poor branding decisions may result in a loss of a customer or two, but failing to adhere to legal requirements for product packaging could result in major liability and expense for your company.


1.     Packaging for a cannabis product must be re-sealable, tamper-evident and child-resistant;

2.     Packaging may not imitate a product typically marketed to children;

3.     The packaging must be able to protect the product from contamination, and must shield the product from toxins or other harmful substances;

4.     All exit packaging leaving a retail dispensary and packaging for edible products must be opaque.

These selected regulations provide a very broad roadmap for cannabusinesses, but what exactly does it mean to be tamper-evident or child-resistant? How do you create packaging that is not attractive to children? What on earth qualifies as opaque packaging?

Before you dump a bunch of money into those new deluxe wrappers, seek the guidance of an attorney who can make sense of MAUCRSA and the new regulations, and provide advice about your company’s current or proposed designs.

For more information on this and related topics, or to setup a free consultation, please contact the Law Offices of James P. Marion, Esq.


DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to provide general information only, and should not be construed as formal legal advice or the formation of an attorney-client relationship. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the materials contained herein and Law Offices of James P. Marion, Esq. explicitly disclaims any liability for your action or inaction based on the contents of this article.