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How have innovations in cannabis packaging evolved amid the changing regulatory landscape for marijuana consumption?

Cannabis Packaging

Ongoing legalization efforts, alongside burgeoning sustainability concerns, will intensify the focus on the importance of packaging in the cannabis supply chain.

Despite its contentious reputation, cannabis has evolved tremendously over the years, making its mark on a global scale. Cannabis packaging plays a prominent role in this growth, having undergone its own evolution from simple plastic baggies to premium and tamper-proof premium packages.

Another key driver for cannabis packaging market development is the persistent effort from governments worldwide to decriminalize and legalize the use of cannabis for recreational and medical purposes. In the U.S., for instance, nearly one-third of the population resides in areas with access to legal recreational marijuana, with nearly 70% of all states allowing consumption for medical purposes. These efforts have enabled licensed cannabis manufacturers to cultivate and commercialize cannabis-based products, which in turn, has amplified the demand for marijuana packaging solutions.

innovations in cannabis packaging
Cannabis Packaging Market

As countries worldwide work towards boosting the legal availability of marijuana products, cannabis product packaging has matured significantly. In many industries, the primary purpose of packaging has been to safeguard and preserve its contents. While the same holds true for cannabis products, packaging manufacturers in this domain must fulfill an additional responsibility – comply with the varying laws and regulations of marijuana use in different states.

Also Read: Food Packaging Industry Trends

Food Packaging
Food Packaging

In the state of New York, for example, legalized marijuana for adult use is required to comply with the regulations set by the New York Cannabis Control Board to help mitigate waste and protect public health. These regulations include various parameters like clear content labeling, limited marketing to adult-only audiences, and child-resistant packaging, among others, which cannabis product packaging manufacturers must comply with to enable the commercialization of their products.

Efforts to streamline the legalization of marijuana products have set off a flurry of activity in the cannabis packaging market, which is set to cross USD 356.3 million by 2028, as per a Global Market Insights Inc report.

Sustainable cannabis packaging gets a boost with the use of paper & paperboard materials

Despite its common perception as a natural product, cannabis as an industry has become one of the most prominent contributors to single-sale plastic packaging waste. This sustainability issue is further exacerbated by the regulations associated with the commercialization of cannabis products, which include restriction or prohibition of the reuse of pharmaceutical containers to maintain product quality and mitigate contamination risks.

With sustainability concerns mounting globally, however, several manufacturers in the modern cannabis packaging industry have started to lobby for change to ensure that the industry continues to thrive, albeit without long-term detrimental impacts on environmental health.

In June 2022, for instance, N2 Packaging Systems, LLC, a firm focused on developing sustainable packaging solutions for cannabis and CBD products, announced its decision to join the SCC (Sustainable Cannabis Coalition). Becoming part of this coalition served not just as a step forward for N2 in its mission to become a sustainable cannabis packaging industry leader but also as a foundation for an eco-responsible, plastic-free packaging ecosystem for cannabis products in the long run.

With consumers demanding more eco-responsibility from cannabis packaging producers, many of these entities have started to focus on the use of sustainable strategies and materials. Companies worldwide are especially starting to recognize the potential of paper & paperboard materials as a viable sustainability solution for cannabis product packaging. This is corroborated by estimates from Global Market Insights Inc. which suggest that the cannabis packaging market from the paper and paperboard materials segment is likely to be valued at USD 5.4 million by 2028.

Paper-based marijuana packaging solutions are garnering increasing interest in the present era, owing to their myriad advantages including optimum printability, easier processing, widespread availability, and lightweight, apart from their environmentally-sound nature.

Hippo Premium Packaging is one such producer of customized CBD and cannabis product packaging and branding solutions, that has recognized the merit of paper-based products as an ideal packaging material to comply with evolving sustainability requirements. In June 2022, the firm announced its intention to use a new sustainable hemp-based paper packaging solution to address the needs of its client Hemp Valley Farms, a CBD producer known for its regenerative and all-natural approach to farming.

The hemp-based paper, developed in collaboration with legacy North American paper mill Mohawk Paper, was crafted using nearly 30% hemp fiber, a highly-sought after renewable fiber source in the current sustainable supply chain. The substantial hemp content of the paper positioned it as an ideal choice for premium cannabis packaging for various Hemp Valley Farms offerings, including three blends of CBD tinctures, CBD-based muscle rubs, cosmetic and pet products, among others.

Year after year, cannabis is gradually shedding its controversial reputation and becoming increasingly accepted as a product with numerous medicinal as well as recreational benefits. In this scenario, the cannabis packaging industry is likely to establish a firm presence not just for the preservation and protection of products, but also as a means to achieve a more sustainable and safer outlook for marijuana use in the years ahead.

Disclaimer: This post is for knowledge and information.


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