With the rise in popularity of recreational cannabis products comes a higher risk for children to accidentally ingest cannabis. According to the LA Times, calls to California poison control centers involving marijuana exposure for people 19 and younger have steadily risen from 347 in 2015 to 588 in 2018. Recreational marijuana was legalized in California in 2016. This presents a problem for the cannabis industry because child endangerment is a strong argument for those opposing its legalization. New regulations regarding child resistant packaging for cannabis products sold in California will go into effect in January 2020. Other states already have regulations in place that require child resistant packaging or are at least considering these regulations.
Regardless of regulations, cannabis companies are beginning to realize that child resistant packaging is a smart business decision. Public perception of cannabis legalization is mixed and can be polarizing. One thing that both sides can agree on is that cannabis should not be marketed to or consumed by children. Companies that take a proactive step in protecting children from cannabis exposure send the message to consumers that they care about making cannabis as safe as possible.
What does it mean to be proactive in child-proofing your cannabis products?
- Understand and comply with labeling requirements. Make a commitment to keep on top of labeling requirements by regularly running compliance checks. Work with a packaging manufacturer that can help you integrate labeling into your packaging and change it quickly if regulations change. Ask your packaging supplier if their packaging has been tested and certified as required by CFR 16 1700 if child-resistant packaging is required to ensure you are compliant with regulations.
- Incorporate child-resistant closures that meet state and federal guidelines. Regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency, child resistant packaging is designed to prevent children under five years of age from accessing a product that could cause them severe harm, while still allowing the package to be reasonably easy to access for adults. Packaging companies are continually inventing and testing new types of child resistant packaging for the cannabis industry. Seek out a packaging partner that understands your specific product needs, while allowing you to incorporate these vital features.
- Use your platform to educate and remind parents and caregivers of the importance of securing their cannabis. Just because the minimum requirements are met, doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Extra messaging on the package will illustrate your commitment to cannabis safety and may save a child from exposure. You can also provide information on your website and marketing materials that demonstrates your commitment to keeping recreational cannabis out of the hands of minors.
If you are a cannabis company in search of high-quality child-resistant and senior-friendly flexible packaging, reach out the team at Budpack. We’ve developed products for the cannabis industry that meet or exceed regulations for safety, while still maintaining their attractive, well-functioning appeal.