Recreational Cannabis Packaging Requirements State by State

Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, recreational marijuana is legal in 11. What are the marijuana packaging requirements in each one?

Tamper-evident containers and clear warning labels are just some of the required packaging items needed for the legal sale of recreational marijuana.

While medical marijuana may have been legal in California for more than two decades, and recreational cannabis consumers of all stripes have been celebrating since 2012 in Washington and Colorado, most states are still struggling to figure out if and how they will regulate marijuana at all.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to legalizing cannabis consumption. Individual states have to designate agencies that will license legal marijuana vendors, establish laws regulating the cultivation, distribution, and possession of cannabis products, and ensure that all products sold are safe for consumption. A key part of regulating the safety of consumable and medicinal products is establishing how those products are packaged and transported.

When it comes to packaging rules for marijuana and CBD-infused products, the job of regulators is complicated by the fact that there are so many different types of products on the market, with more being created all the time. Medicinal and recreational cannabis users residing in states where consumption is legal can choose from joints, concentrates, oils, waxes, lozenges, and a wide array of infused products that resemble traditional baked goods with a limited shelf life. Figuring out how to regulate all of these different type of products at once can be a major headache for lawmakers with limited prior experience with marijuana derived products. 

Despite this confusion, most states have come up with a similar set of basic regulations:

  • Packages sold at retail locations for at-home consumption must be air-tight, tamper-proof, and typically opaque.
  • Standardized warning messages, which vary by state, must appear on all packages. This may include a specific symbol that has been approved by the state.
  • Packages typically cannot carry unnecessary cartoons or graphics beyond a simple logo. The goal of this regulation is to discourage underage users from trying to consume the contents.
  • The contents of the package must be clearly labeled. This may include the concentration of THC and CBD as well as a full list of ingredients in the case of infused edibles. In the case of oils, it might include the carrier oil and any potential allergens.
  • Other mandated labeling information might include dosage information, marijuana strain, the packaging date or packaging location, “use-by” or product expiration date, additional information about the producer or distributor, products lot number, and more.

To find the latest packaging rules for the sale of recreational marijuana products in your state, follow the links below:

Alaska: Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development 3 AAC 306 – Regulations

California: California Department of Public Health

Colorado: Official State Portal

Illinois: HB1438 Section 55-21

Maine: Maine Legislature:Title 28-B: ADULT USE MARIJUANA §701.Labeling and packaging 

Massachusetts: Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission 935CMR 500.00: Adult use of marijuana

Nevada: Nevada Legislature NAC 453A.500 

Oregon: Oregon Legislature 475B.600

Vermont: Vermont Department of Public Safety- Rules Regulating Cannabis forSymptom Relief

Washington: Washington State Legislature WAC314-55-105

TheVial Store sells a wide variety of tamper-proof exit bags, tamper-evident shrink bands, child-resistant containers, and state compliant labels that make meeting even the most stringent marijuana packaging regulations a snap. Our friendly customer service team is always ready to chat if you need help finding the right packaging product for your store.

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