Anyone who used recreational cannabis prior to 2012 probably received and transported their stash in the same simple packaging – a zip-top plastic baggie. Throughout recent history, the plastic baggy was the ubiquitous answer to an underground industry’s need for cheap, easy and portable packaging of a popular product. Just five years later, commercially legal marijuana producers have said goodbye to the flimsy baggie, and no one is missing it.

Today’s cannabis packaging options include a wide variety of custom branded, brightly colored, smell-proof, child-resistant pouches and containers that are specially designed to keep cannabis products fresh and safe. The move toward upscale and sophisticated packaging is driven by a combination of state packaging regulations and marketers seizing up a valuable branding opportunity. Safe, smell-proof and attractive modern cannabis packaging is a win-win for consumers and marketers alike.

One of the most versatile and revolutionary cannabis packaging solutions is the flexible pouch. A major upgrade to its clear, flimsy predecessor, pouch containers offer the lightweight, portable and cost-effective benefits of the traditional baggie, except with many more advanced features. They can be custom printed with eye-popping graphics and heat sealed with tamper-evidence. They can feature child-resistant closures and odor-blocking technology. All of this is achieved in a sleek container that is less bulky than bottles and jars. They work equally well for containing flowers, extracts, edibles and topicals, making them a single, versatile solution for a wide variety of cannabis product types.

Flexible pouches hold a lot of product with very little waste. They can even be produced in compostable or recyclable materials, making them environmentally friendly and more attractive to discerning customers.

These new packaging options allow consumers to enjoy extended shelf life and feel safe knowing that products are safely secured in FDA compliant food-grade materials with closure systems that protect children from accidental ingestion.

As regulations and best-practices for cannabis packaging continue to evolve, cannabis producers should rely on a trusted packaging partner who understands how to utilize technology to keep their products one step ahead of the competition, and leave the baggies for the snacks.