Brands in the very competitive cannabis market need to find ways to stand out and packaging is an effective tool to project a certain brand image and message. Packaging must create an engaging first impression because it is the first thing customers see.
Consistent and clear cannabis packaging solutions help to establish your brand identity and promote a loyal customer base. Details like the distinctive design of a box, a different type of lid or certain color may be what your product needs to break through the noise generated by neighboring brands.
Custom cannabis packaging: Material options
Custom cannabis packaging materials vary – glass, silicone, cardboard, plastic, aluminum, metal – and all of them have pros and cons. Apart from standing out from the competition, the material you use must be appropriate for the product, keep it fresh, meet safety expectations and offer ease of use and cost-effectiveness.
Your brand’s aesthetic also has a part to play. If you are aiming at budget consumers and you want to maximize savings, you need to opt for a less expensive option, like plastic. If you’re going for more of a top-shelf look, glass is probably more appropriate.
Rigid cannabis packaging is made of materials that hold their shape, like glass. Glass jars come in many different sizes, shapes, colors and styles, such as a 1/8 glass jar in amber with straight sides.
Glass is popular choice in cannabis packaging solutions because it is airtight and smell-proof. It is good for flower because the nugs keep their shape and consumers can see the bud structure. Many brands choose borosilicate tube jars for dry flower because it offers many of the benefits of classic glass but allow for various lid options and custom printing.
Clear rigid containers may need to be placed in an additional exit bag as regulations don’t allow transparent packaging.
Semi-rigid packaging isn’t rigid or flexible. It includes different types of board folded into boxes or made into paper tubes. Folding cartons from different strengths of the board can create different types of packaging, including the simplest folding boxes. A 1/8 jar box + magnet closure is more complex.
Plastic sheets are also molded into containers like plastic cups or tubs. Semi-rigid packaging is cost-effective, quick to produce and lighter so transport and storage is cheaper. The material is easy to mold and doesn’t easily shatter, break or tear.
Flexible packaging consists of bags, envelopes, sachets, wraps, plastic film etc. It is widely and readily available, easy to handle and relatively lightweight and easy to ship. This packaging is recyclable and custom cannabis packaging options are possible, such as tear notches, foil stamping, adding clear windows or using hang holes. Concentrates come in small containers and are often placed in tamper-evident bags. Pre-made pouches are often used for edibles.
Environmentally-friendly packaging materials: The use of easily obtainable and highly reusable materials is becoming more important all the time to eco-conscious consumers and can offer a long-term net gain if companies implement their use properly. Some cannabis packaging companies are using hemp to package cannabis products.
The use of a hemp wick + wrap is also more environmentally-friendly, convenient and easily accessible. The use of reclaimed plastic and paper can help to reduce a manufacturer’s environmental footprint and offer unique branding opportunities.
Cannabis packaging solutions: The design aspect
Legal cannabis is sold through licensed dispensaries. You will see it packaged in anything from flexible plastic bags to reusable glass jars. Customers are assisted by budtenders and can’t just browse shelves to pick products. This means they usually rely heavily on packaging design in making selections.
Shape, color and text are the building blocks of a good custom cannabis package design. The shape delivers the promise of the product but even if you have a custom box in a unique shape, it is not enough to create a strong brand image on its own.
Your color choices will reflect your brand personality but also the type of product you’re selling. White packaging is often used in the medicinal and healthcare arena. Customers looking for organic products will be drawn to more earthy tones, like green and brown. Designer products with a classy, luxurious appeal may come in black, shiny packaging.
The text gives your brand a voice. It must be prominent and display a clear message to catch the attention of customers.
The safety factor
Safety is an obvious factor when selling cannabis products and companies are taking innovative, creative approaches to come up with child-resistant packaging solutions to ensure contents are inaccessible to children and yet easy to access by intended users.
Packaging laws vary from state to state and tend to differ between flower, edible, concentrate and vaporizer products. For example, they require flower packaging to be resealable.
Some safety measures to make packaging child-proof include exit bags, metal tins, metered dosing with locking, squeeze-and-pull designs and push-and-twist caps. Custom-molded, child-proof containers are a must when it comes to packaging products like wax, crumble and shatter.
It is also important to give warnings about risks of consumption and instead of including all the detailed information on the packaging, some companies include it in leaflets inside the packaging.
Required packaging information
Regulations are still being developed and therefore, they are subject to change. It is very important that all the necessary information appears on cannabis product packaging, which means staying up to date with applicable state and local laws to keep labeling compliant.
This includes giving specific product information, such as the brand name of the product, the class of cannabis, its THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) content and license holder information.
A final word
The type of custom cannabis packaging companies use to sell their products is vitally important. Aesthetics, functionality and compliance are key factors when choosing cannabis packaging. It is important to understand what customers want, aim for maximum shelf impact and yet also take into account ease of use, safety and regulations. The most forward-thinking brands are managing to create unique packaging solutions that meet multiple goals at once.