Are you making these 3 common cannabis packaging mistakes?

Are you making these 3 common cannabis packaging mistakes?

As a part of Inkbrite’s cannabis packaging review service, it’s our job to catch labeling errors. Read on to see if any of these common gotchas apply to your packaging.

#1) Displaying the Wrong Government Warning

Most states have warning statements that you must put on your packaging. In California, the warning depends on your product type. 

  • Cannabis warning statement
  • Cannabis warning statement for manufactured products

Read more about this in our recent post to be sure you are selecting the right warning statement for your product. 

The warning statement also needs to be formatted as specified in the regulations: all bold, 6 point font. We’ve seen companies try to sneak a font size smaller than 6 points to fit it in creative locations or only bold part of the warning. In our opinion, it’s not worth the risk. 

#2 Misunderstanding where the “Primary Panel” is located on a Jar

California requires that there are three elements on the primary panel:

  • Product identity
  • Warning symbol
  • Net weight

When reviewing jarred products, we’ve seen these elements placed in a variety of locations. That’s likely because California doesn’t define which part of the jar is considered the primary panel. 

The primary panel’s definition comes from the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (called the Principal display panel). For jarred products, the primary panel is considered the 40% of the product displayed to the consumer when it is on display. In other words, it’s the part the consumer sees when your product sits on a retail shelf.

Your best bet is to include all three required elements within a 40% area of your jar. If you push the universal symbol too far away from your product identity and weight statement, it won’t be on the primary panel.

#3) Missing Prop 65 Warning Statements

I’ve saved the most serious (in my opinion) for last. 

The California packaging checklists touch on California’s proposition 65, but they don’t say much about it. This makes sense since prop 65 is from a different division of the government (the cannabis packaging checklists are from the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch, a division of the Department of Public Health whereas Prop 65 is from the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, which is part of the California Environmental Protection Agency). 

Excluding a prop 65 warning could get you in trouble with state regulators, and worse, expose you to consumer lawsuits. 

If you aren’t sure what’s required, include both the Prop 65 warning for cancer and reproductive harm. The short form isn’t too obtrusive, and you’ll protect yourself against lawsuits.

To learn more, read our post about Prop 65.

In conclusion

There are regulations to be aware of above and beyond the California cannabis checklists.

If you aren’t 100% sure your product packaging meets California guidelines, reach out to us at Inkbrite

This article is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. This article outlines Inkbrite’s internal policies and should not be interpreted as legal guidance. For legal counsel, please contact your attorney. 

If you need beautifully designed, compliant packaging for your cannabis products, please contact Is your existing packaging compliant? Inkbrite can tell you with a compliance review.

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