How to Get Started With Your Cannabis Packaging
When establishing a new cannabis brand or simply refreshing an old one, your packaging selection will be among the most crucial decisions you make as a company. With so many options floating around for cannabis flower packaging such as mylar bags, glass jars in a box, and other variants for various types of products you’ll want to ensure you have defined goals and standards for your packaging. Factors to be considered are shelf life, brand identity, and label design.
When selecting packaging it’s important to keep product integrity front and center of your focus. Your packaging has more functions than simply containing your brand identity. While important your packaging speaks to your brand identity it’s ultimately more important that your packaging protects the products you’ve put your heart and soul into. With a properly designed package, you can prevent things like, spilled extracts, spoiled flowers, leaking vape carts, and dry tasteless prerolls.
As a part of your new packaging, it’s best advised to speak to your potential or existing customer base about how they display products on the sales floor as well as their back-of-house storage practices. You’ll need to understand if their shop can facilitate the type of packaging you envision. So take some time to examine in your given territory if there are vape cartridges hanging in blister pack clamshell packaging, flowers hanging in mylar bags, or have most retailers simply opted for brands that utilize custom packaging suitable to just set and forget on a shelf?
What’s the Best Type of Custom Packaging for My Products?
Cannabis is a perishable good that is typically lost on the average brand starting out. Your custom packaging will determine the shelf life of your product and ultimately its stability overall. When selecting your cannabis packaging design for flowers you’ll want to select something incredibly airtight, typically opaque with a small window for consumers to view the product clearly. Packaging with the smallest possible air-to-product ratio is ideal. The less ambient air within your packaging the longer the lifespan of your flower.
Selecting custom packaging for a pre-roll tube is also something that is best kept on the simple side of things. A tube no larger than the joint itself is generally a best practice to prevent your joint from jostling around in the tube and losing its material and deforming your pre-roll. Given the nature of pre-roll material, the factors stated previously regarding flower are increased several times over. Once plant material has been ground the degradation process has begun. Using a subpar pre-roll tube will rapidly increase the rate of degradation by allowing ambient oxygen and light to pass through the pre-roll tube leading to the all too often disappointed preroll customer receiving a dry and tasteless preroll.
Vape cartridge packaging should be selected based on one core principle. Keep your vape cartridges upright and secure at all times. This principle will translate between vape carts, pods, and disposable vapes. You want your packaging for all cannabis extract products to be very self-explanatory in relation to how they are supposed to be stored. Your tube should rest within a box that has a shelf in it to keep your product integrity at 100%. Even a slight shift in one direction or another within packaging can be catastrophic for vape carts. Terpenes being an acidic medium can very easily leach through parts of your hardware with less integrity than the unit when stored properly.
In regards to cannabis extracts, you’ll want to ensure your packaging facilitates your cannabis brand’s particular type of extract. If you’re working with solventless extracts a package with a self-sealing lid will ultimately keep your product safest from terpene off-gassing in addition to material oxidization. This particular category of cannabis products is ultimately the one area over-packaging is acceptable. With extracted cannabinoids and terpenes having such a volatile state of existence.
You’ll always want to keep in mind that ultimately by the time your product lands in a dispensary it will land in front of a back-of-house employee with a ton of moving parts in play for their workflow. You do not want to give them specialized packaging that has to be stored in X, Y, and Z fashion because their margin of error is simply far too high. The verification of proper storage on the cannabis brand’s side of things is also way too low. Your packaging design should have these cannabis employees in mind when being developed. You want to ensure you do not make anybody in the entire supply chain do any more critical analysis of your product than is needed at a minimal baseline.
Think You’re Done? Look at it Closely.
Review all verbiage on your packaging incredibly carefully. As I always recommend, talk to your consumer base. Show them what you’re thinking and ensure it meets all of their standards in regard to compliance. Talk to your compliance lawyer frequently throughout your design process. You would hate to order $20,000 worth of packaging only to find out a missing period in a Prop 64 Warning or OMMA Warning label was going to cost you either another $20,000 or a ruined package design due to a secondary sticker needing to be applied at the manufacturing level. Stay in constant communication on every single batch of packaging and request proofs for review several times before production is set in motion to prevent these types of issues.
Taking these pointers in regard to your new packaging will leave you with a significantly better product than you otherwise would have had. Avoiding the pitfalls of overpackaging and over-designing are critical to protecting your ever-shrinking margins. This isn’t to say to go as cheap as humanly possible on your packaging. That will simply lead you to a scenario where your product as a whole loses integrity and stability thus losing much more than margin you’ll in turn lose brand loyalty which next to never comes back.
Ultimately your packaging supplier choice will have significantly more to do with the success of your brand than most companies understand from the outset. Not all suppliers will charge you proper prices or sell you the best materials they can. Keep your compliance team close at hand and maintain a strong line of communication with your packaging supplier and your cannabis brand will start off on the right foot.