Committee Blog: Packaging Design Considerations
May 10, 2018

Committee Blog: Packaging Design Considerations

by NCIA’s Packaging and Labeling Committee
Elise Grosso, Cannabis Marketing Association; and Rachel Kane, Sure Lock Packaging, Inc.

The following topics are areas to be aware of while creating and designing packaging. Using these tips can save you time and money in the process of creating or selling cannabis products.

Originality of content – Imitating consumer packaged goods for your packaging design through parody of a popular brand logo or using parody in packaging design can lead to serious issues. Use packaging is an opportunity to define your brand.

Lead times – Timing and shipping are usually underrated factors that can cause headache and unnecessary costs. Depending on the complexity of the packaging, if tooling is be required, this can easily add six weeks to your delivery time. Is your packaging being produced domestically or internationally? How much space will packaging use and where will it be stored?

Issues compliance labeling on design – If you are creating a product to be sold at a dispensary, make sure to consider additional labeling that will appear on the final product delivered to customers at retail. There needs to be enough surface area or clever design to make sure your packaging identity isn’t lost amongst compliance stickers. If you are a retailer, it is important to educate salespeople about where to place required labels to not obscure important information that may be on the packaging.

Adaptable – Rules change constantly. Your company’s strategies to deal with changing regulations should include packaging and labeling. You could predict and order units based on when regulations go into effect, or start with packaging that goes beyond current standards. As a retailer, can you find a way to insist the brands you carry comply with child resistant standards or order more exit bags? Going above and beyond current regulations can save you money and elevate your product.

It is important to have packaging graphics that get noticed at retail. Consumers often skim shelves quickly looking for brands that are known to them or graphics that catch their eye. With limited space in dispensaries it is important to have branding that is well presented in the packaging. Creating packaging that represents your brand is best done early in the process so that it is not rushed and attainable lead times for desired packaging can be met. In our industry, states can update packaging guidelines at any time, make sure your final packaging adheres to all regulations structurally and graphically.

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