What to Know If You're Labeling Cannabis Products for Sale
Marijuana is said to help with symptoms of many diseases and ailments, including Parkinson's disease, Crohn's disease, Tourette's syndrome, Alzheimer's, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
As of October 2020, 33 states (and the District of Columbia) have sanctioned marijuana use for medical conditions. Recreational use of the Schedule I substance is also gaining momentum. Eleven states have already passed legislation on the topic, plus the District of Columbia. More join the ranks with every election cycle.
If you're a licensed marijuana dispensary, stay up to date with these facts about the drug and the rules for compliant packaging.
Cannabis by the Numbers
- The number of marijuana legalization ballots this Election Day will be the largest number of voters weighing in on the issue.
- More than 145 million people around the world use marijuana, equivalent to 2.5% of the planet's population.
- Each hemp plant could supply as much value as 12 trees in terms of biodiesel, paper products, and concrete.
- Today's weed is 57-67% more potent than what we were capable of growing in the 60s and 70s.
- State and federal governments spend more than $17 billion on marijuana prohibition efforts.
- Gallup found that 53% of the US population favors legalizing marijuana use (as of 2015), up from just 12% in 1969.
How To Label Retail Products
Unfortunately, the lack of national legislation has made outlining the parameters of selling marijuana difficult. Each state is free to determine their own rules and regulations with regards to the required labels and warnings. Not only are these rules constantly changing, they're also enforced and interpreted differently.
Below is a list of warnings that at least one state requires on their commercial cannabis. There are variations in phrasing that are not listed. For a more detailed listing and a breakdown by state, visit Leafly's State-by-State Guide.
- Contents: This product contains marijuana.
- Habit Forming: Marijuana has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming and addictive.
- Impaired Abilities: Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. Please use extreme caution.
- Health Risks: There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Marijuana should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Age: For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children and animals.
- Resale/Transfer: This product is for medical use only, not for resale or transfer to another person. It is a illegal for any person to possess or consume the contents of the package other than the qualifying patient.
- Medical Use Only: This medical cannabis is for therapeutic use only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
- Potency: This potency of this product was tested with an allowable variance of plus or minus 15%.
- Identity of the marijuana retail store and marijuana establishment license number from the Department of Food and Agriculture.
- A pass or fail rating based on the laboratory's microbiological, mycotoxins, heavy metals, pesticide, solvent residue and chemical residue analysis.
- The name and P.O. Box of the registered cultivation center where the item was manufactured.
- The name of licensee that packaged the medical cannabis finished product and the telephone number of the licensee for reporting an adverse patient event.
- The dispensary's telephone number and mailing address, and website information, if any.
- Date of cultivation and manufacture.
- The date of final testing and packaging.
- The expiration date.
- The dispensing date that the medical marijuana was transferred to the qualified patient or caregiver.
- The date of harvest.
- A "use by" or "freeze by" date for products capable of supporting the growth of infectious, toxigenic, or spoilage microorganisms.
- A terpenes profile and a list of pharmacologically active ingredients, including, but not limited to, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and other cannabinoid content, and colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives, with the amount in milligrams per serving and servings per package.
- A warning if nuts or other known allergens are used.
- All ingredients in edible marijuana products.
- The quantity (in ounces or grams) of cannabis contained in the product.
- A unique serial number that will match the product with a producer batch and lot number so as to facilitate any warnings or recalls the department or producer deem appropriate.
- The name of the strain, batch, and quantity.
- The medical marijuana is free of contaminants.
- Whether the medical marijuana is of the low, medium, or high strength strain.
- For flower only: if pesticides were used.
- For flower only: the growing medium used during production and processing.
- The name of the recommending physician.
- The qualifying patient's name, address, and registration card number.
- The patient's date of birth.
- The name and date of birth of the designated registered caregiver, if applicable.
The following rules are instituted in at least one state. Consult Leafly's guide for state-specific regulations.
- The packaging may not be designed to appeal to children.
- Labeling text must be no smaller than 1/16 of an inch or 8-point font.
- Labeling text must be clearly written or printed and in the English language.
- Labeling text must be unobstructed and conspicuous.
- Bear no resemblance to the trademarked, characteristic, or product-specialized packaging of any commercially available candy, snack, baked good or beverage.
- Bear no statement, artwork, or design that could reasonably mislead any person to believe that the package contains anything other a medical cannabis finished product.
- Bear no seal, flag, crest, coat of arms, or other insignia that could reasonably mislead any person to believe that the product has been endorsed, manufactured, or used by any State, county, or municipality, or any agency thereof.
Hear from Jesse Pixler, Creative Director for a premier cannabis marketing agency, on what you should keep in mind when designing cannabis packaging.
- "Schedule I controlled substance."
- "For medical use only."
- "The intoxicating effects of this product may be delayed by up to two hours."
- "This product has not been analyzed or approved by the FDA."
- "Keep secured at all times."
- "This product may be unlawful outside of [state of origin]."
- Poison Control Center emergency telephone number.
- Any directions for use of the product.
- The instructions for proper storage or handling of the product.
- The medical marijuana product form and brand designation.
- If a marijuana extract was added to the product, disclosure of the type of extraction process and any solvent, gas, or other chemical used in the extraction process, or any other compound added to the extract.
Need some help covering your bases? Browse our selection of pre-designed cannabis label templates.
How To Store Cannabis Labels
At any part of the cultivation, production, or retail process, it's important to store labels for marijuana, flower, edibles, CBD oil, and other cannabis products in a restricted area. It's critical that access is limited to authorized personnel to ensure accurate tracking of products and the safety of your consumers.
In an effort to reduce any label confusion, sort your labels in neatly organized and identifiable stacks. Labels for the same products should be kept together and separated from those with varying dosages, strengths, contents, etc.
Use shelf or bin labels to categorize your clamshells or rolls. Taking precautions here will eliminate the chance of mislabeled products jeopardizing public safety.
Popular Cannabis Labeling Options
OnlineLabels.com can provide you with the labels you need to comply with state regulations. View popular cannabis container labels.
Listed below is a sampling of popular medical marijuana container sizes and their OnlineLabels counterpart.
|Container||Container Name, Size||OnlineLabels Suggested Size|
|Jtube / Doob Tube, 4.5"||OL75, 1" x 4"|
|20 Dram Vial, 1.625" x 2.3125"||OL330, 2" x 2"
OL6300, 1.5" x 1.5"
|30 Dram Vial, 1.625" x 3.375"||OL775, 2" x 2.675"
OL5051, 1.9" x 2.5"
|40 Dram Vial, 1.8125" x 3.50"||OL996, 2" x 3"|
Marijuana Packaging Examples
Not sure how to be legally compliant and attractive to consumers? Take it from these companies who are creating beautiful, functional, and lawful marijuana packaging designs. You can also learn more about cannabis packaging in our article, Cannabis Packaging Tips From An Industry Expert.
Cannabis use may be polarizing the nation, but as an industry, it's bringing in billions. By 2024, medical marijuana will bring in more than $12 billion in sales, according to Statista.com.
We hope this article was informative and helpful for your small business. Best of luck when it comes time to create and sell your marijuana labels.
Shop Cannabis Container Labels
We do not carry the containers mentioned in this chart.
This article is meant to be used as a labeling guide, not as an authoritative resource on the latest marijuana/cannabis legislation. At the time of publication (August 2016), the information mentioned above is compliant with state and federal laws. Please be sure to check government databases for updates or revisions as regulations can change frequently. We are not responsible or liable for any actions taken as a result of using the content or resources listed above.