California: Cannabis Packaging Cannot Resemble Food Products

A new set of resources released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) offers a checklist with the Dos and Don’ts of cannabis packaging in the state, along with labeling instructions.

Labeling DOs:

  • Package manufactured cannabis products prior to transfer to a distributor as a finished product. Cannabis flower may be packaged by a cultivator, manufacturer or distributor.
  • If a product has multiple layers of packaging, the packaging requirements can be fulfilled using any one of those layers.

Labeling DON’Ts:

  • Cannot imitate packaging used for non-cannabis food products or products typically marketed to children.

The four main criteria for a package to meet are tamper evidence, child-resistance, resealability (for products with multiple uses) and opaque packaging for edibles.

Only edibles must be packaged in “lifetime” child-resistant packaging (child-resistant after opening and reclosing), while other forms of products must be initially child-resistant, upon first opening.

Labeling Resources
Additionally, a labeling checklist specifies what info can and cannot be included. The product’s county of origin can not appear anywhere on the label unless 100% of the cannabis in the product was grown there. Labels are also forbidden from making unproven health claims.

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