How To Be State Compliant With Cannabis Packaging

How To Be State Compliant With Cannabis Packaging

Proper cannabis packaging can be one of the early indicators for cannabis regulators on determining whether your products are state compliant or not. Not having the proper warning labels, wrong color container, or no tamper-evident seal are just a few easy ways to tell if your business isn’t legit.

Unfortunately, being state compliant with cannabis can often be difficult or confusing, and the laws are constantly changing for different states. However, here are some tips that can help save your business either now or in the future.

According to the California Department of Public Health Cannabis Packaging checklist as of 2019, cannabis product packaging should be:

Tamper Evident

Packaging that is tamper evident is when – “A consumer knows if the package has been opened.” Examples of tamper-evident packaging would be a perforated shrink band or a shrink sleeve label across the top of a pre-roll tube.

The point of these tamper-evident seals is that you need to tear them to access the contents within your container. If torn, this lets the consumer know that their product has been previously opened.

Child Resistant

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According to the CDPH, Child resistant packaging is when “the package is designed to be difficult for children under five years of age to open.”

Packages that qualify as child-resistant:

  • Packages that have been certified as child-resistant in accordance with the federal. Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA, 16 CFR §1700.1)
  • A bottle sealed with a pry-off metal crown bottle cap
  • Plastic packaging that is at least 4 mils. thick and heat-sealed without an easy-open tab, dimple, corner or flap

Obviously, when it comes to packaging for pre-roll tubes, flower, and edibles, the second option comes up very often. All of Cooljarz containers meet the 4mils. thick requirement, even our Eco-Lite line that uses about 50% less plastic than our competitors.

Our eco-lite line also does not feature any easy open tabs, dimples, corners, or flaps because we opted to go for our pop-top design. The last requirement you see in the middle. “Heat-Sealed” refers to tamper-evident shrink bands or labels that are also available on our site.

Child-resistant packaging may sound vague but it’s important to understand what state regulators mean when following these terms.

Resealable (for products with multiple uses)

Packaging is considered resealable when “the package can be closed after each use.” For example, a lid, adhesive closure, box top closure, etc. Obviously most plastic tube containers and dram bottles feature some sort of re-closeable lid.

Opaque (for edibles only)*

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I myself, have seen many products fail to adhere by this rule. Unfortunately, many consumers would like to be able to see what their edibles look like and this rule completely prohibits that. Opaque packaging is when “the package is not transparent; consumers cannot see the product through the packaging.”

  • *Amber-colored bottles are considered opaque.
  • *Opaque bottles used for beverages may use a single, vertical, clear strip less than 0.25” wide to indicate serving sizes.

Hopefully there can be compromise for this rule in the future, however, understandably if a child were to see a brownie packaged in a see through container, that could entice them to eat the whole thing. And we wouldn’t want that.

Cannabis Packaging Do’s

  • Cannabis flower may be packaged by a cultivator, manufacturer or distributor. Manufactured cannabis products must be packaged and labeled by the manufacturer prior to transfer to a distributor as finished products.
  • Protect products from contamination and exposure to any toxic or harmful substances
  • If a product has multiple layers of packaging, the packaging requirements can be fulfilled using any one of those layers.

Cannabis Packaging Don’ts

  • Cannot imitate packaging used for products typically marketed to children
  • Cannot imitate packaging used for non-cannabis food products

These Don’ts are actually very common when it comes to edibles. When it comes to various desserts, many early edible manufacturers tend to parody their favorite foods. This may have worked when it was the wild west, but as regulations continue to grow this just screams lawsuits.


There are a lot of rules when it comes to being compliant in cannabis and they are constantly changing everywhere. This guide could help your business in your region but it could also be outdated next month. What’s important is staying up to date with news in your area.

Although this guide isn’t perfect, we believe its a great start towards becoming completely compliant with most state’s laws. If you’d like to learn more about cannabis packaging, or would like to get some packaging yourself, go to Have any questions? Contact us! We’ll be happy to help.

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