Incorrectly detailing the net weight is among the most common mistakes I see when reviewing cannabis packaging.
It’s no surprise that cannabis manufacturers often struggle with how to explain the weight/quantity of marijuana. Many states have detailed guidelines for their state-specific cannabis packaging rules, but most don’t define the intricacies of the weight/contents labeling rule. That leaves many wondering how to correctly format their net weight description.
This post outlines what’s okay, and what’s not, based on the Uniform Packaging and Labeling Regulations with additional information provided by the California Department of Public Health.
The following guidelines are what we use internally at Inkbrite to design packaging for our customers. If you’d like to use them too, please do! In return, please look up Inkbrite the next time your company, a friend, or colleague needs packaging and/or labeling services.
- Net weight is the weight of the product without the packaging. For a vape cartridge, the weight is the weight of the cannabis oil, not including the vape hardware
- Weight abbreviations must be in lower case. Liter is the only exception. Liter is generally capitalized and is the preferred format per regulations. Abbreviations for Liter use the capital L (e.g. mL).
- There must be a single space between the weight and the abbreviation
- Weight must always have standard and metric units, separated with parenthesis. Note: this is not required by all of the regulatory docs in all cases, but it is required in California and is always safest to use both measurements.
- Weight can be displayed as a decimal number or a fraction.
- Weights are always listed as singular (“oz”, not “ozs”)
- Weight declaration must have sufficient space above, below and on all sides. The surrounding margin should be at least as tall as the capital letter N of the font used.
- The words “Net Weight” can appear on their own line followed by the measurements below. Never break the numeric portion onto multiple lines)
- The words “net weight” may be in caps, all lower case or capitalizing only the N and W. Periods are optional.
- Weight may be abbreviated to Wt
Acceptable display of units commonly used in cannabis (including these capitalizations only):
- Solid, semi-solid, viscous
- fl oz
Net Weight Examples
Please read the section that relates to your item type and quantity. These rules apply for products up to one pound and small volumes of liquids.
Solid, semi-solid or viscous item (single item per package)
Used for: flower, individual pre-roll, vape cartridge, individual edible / chocolate bar.
Solid, semi-solid or viscous item (multiple items per package)
Used for: multiple solid items - box of pre-rolls, container of edibles.
Acceptable variations look exactly as with single solids, using only one measurement for the entire package. Do not include “per item” weight in the net weight statement.
Net Weight 0.12 oz (3.5 g)
Net Wt 28 g (1 oz)
net weight 0.12 oz (3.5 g)
NET WEIGHT 0.12 oz (3.5 g)
NET WT 3.5 g (0.12 oz)
Used for: beverages, lotions, tinctures
Acceptable variations look exactly as with solids, replacing the oz with fl oz and mg with mL
Net Wt 185 mL (0.0065 fl oz)
Net Weight 12 fl oz (355 mL)
Net Wt 1 fl oz (28 mL)
net weight 59 mL (2 fl oz)
How NOT to show Net Weight
- Net weight 1/8 Oz (3.5 G) – don’t capitalize the abbreviations.
- Net weight 1/8oz (3.5g) – missing the spaces between the weight and the abbreviation.
- NET WT. 3.5 GRAMS – missing standard unit of measurement (ounces). Grams can only be described as grams (lowercase) or g (lowercase)
- 3 GRAMS (.106oz) – Missing “net weight”, measurement unit in all caps, incorrect spacing between qty and measurement) Grams must be lowercase.
- 3.5 g / 0.12 oz – Missing “net weight”. Incorrect separator between metric and standard must be parenthesis. Can not use slash as that denotes division
- 1.5 g / 0.53 oz Fresh cannabis flower + .5 g / .018 oz Hash – Missing net weight label. Flower to hash ratio should be moved from the package front
- Weight: 1.6 grams – missing “net” in the label. Missing standard measurement
If you are unsure about your labels, we offer a compliance review service. If there’s a weight you want to see that I didn’t include, leave me a comment below and I’ll let you know how we’d would label it.
Note: This post was originally published advising against using fractions. We updated it in Feb 2021 based on feedback from CDPH to include fractions in the net weight. Read more.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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