How to conquer the “Wild West” of cannabis labeling.

Grab your horse and saddle because the wild, wild west of cannabis labeling is arriving soon to a state near you! 

As we write this bulletin – medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and recreational weed has been approved in 11 more. 

The global legal marijuana market size is expected to reach USD 28.5 billion by 2027, according to a report published by Grand View Research, Inc.  And it’s expected to expand at a very healthy CAGR of 16.6% during the forecast period.  According to the Freedonia Group, primary and secondary containers will continue to account for the largest share of packaging demand at 62% of sales in 2024.  That means a whole lot of new labels for glass bottles and vials, metal tins and specialty products like cloth bags.  Forget about “home-grown” — cannabis labels  must now carry high-quality graphics and a premium image for flowers, cartridges, tinctures, infusions, edibles, capsules, topicals and oils.   

The sheriff has also arrived — in the shape of  long and complicated general and state legislative requirements.  Each state has their own rules with specific text and design requirements.  Understand them and the label implications and you’ll be able to help your customers and have a jump on your competition.  They change frequently so you’ll need to look before and last minute during production.

While flexo is a great solution for larger producers, cannabis labels also fit well with on-demand digital printing so that changes to regulations or their menu or ingredients can be made quickly and easily on your customer’s label design template.

Here are the top 5 trends in cannabis labeling and packaging we uncovered from cannabis designers to make you stand out in what is fast becoming a crowded landscape.

    1. Packages Built for Design and Compliance in addition to incorporating all the legalese, think about child-resistant packaging.
    2. Eco-Friendly – key for the consumer who is looking for an all-natural remedy. Berlin Packaging notes, “Hemp-based sacs and paper packaging products are popular choices for recreational cannabis packaging.
      Green, amber, or blue glass bottles help reduce environmental impact while keeping products potent longer with natural UV filtering abilities.”
    3.  Sharp, Sophisticated Branding and Design – your customer’s product must stand out from the competition with a label that exudes style, class, and luxury. Knowledgeable, professional consumers want sophisticated, contemporary designs with high-quality graphics.  And minimalism is very popular.
    4. Sourcing and Grow Methods Matter –  Consumers want the common name of the cannabis strain and to be able to tell by packaging whether it’s a recreational or medicinal product.
    5. Humor Works –  With a nod to its counterculture past, packaging designs are employing puns and wordplay to embrace and poke fun at the common misconceptions and stereotypes associated with cannabis use. 

We can help!

Looking for premium yet economical materials for cannabis labels?  We’ve got Semi and Hi gloss, silver metalized paper and foil, Synthetic Papers, Clear, White & Silver BOPP, Clear and White Polystyrene, Direct Thermal and Thermal Transfer.  

Call Marie or Rosellen at 1-800-633-6272 or fill out our Material Requestor here.