Branding and safety are now coming to the forefront for packaging of cannabis products, as the market for medicinal and recreational marijuana intensifies.
With Americans voting to legalize marijuana in a growing number of states, for recreational as well as medical use, demand for cannabis packaging design expertise is booming.
Dispensaries and brand owners with products ranging from marijuana flowers (buds) to THC-infused edibles and beverages—and the packaging designers and suppliers who serve them—are developing packages in a variety of formats.
Structural design musts include adherence to state regulations for marijuana packaging, particularly child-resistance, reclosability and ease of opening. Graphic design that creates a brand identity is also a focus for many in the nascent market. (Packaging for Auntie Dolores gourmet marijuana-infused edibles, for example, is both child-resistant and graphically sophisticated.)
Here are four examples of standout packages that help build brand affinity by emphasizing product quality and safety.
Putting a new spin on ‘brand elevation’
In the graphics for its IVXX cannabis products, brand owner Terra Tech Corp. uses lush color and copious amounts of black to create a luxurious look and feel. The IVXX Sampler Box (photo above) showcases three types of cannabis flower, each packaged in a one-gram bag. The boxed set also includes branded rolling papers and a lighter. Each packaging component is printed with the brand’s name and its tagline, “Elevate.” Anthem Worldwide designed the IVXX packaging.
Next: Nature imagery conveys product properties
Nature imagery conveys product properties
Canadian medical-cannabis producer Tilray uses bags with a child-resistant zipper to package the 50-plus strains of cannabis that the company cultivates. Each reclosable bag holds up to 15 grams of trimmed, dried cannabis flower. The front label on the bag is specific to each strain, featuring an image of a natural landscape that evokes the strain’s physiological effects, genetic origin and name.
“For example, Master Kush—which derives its name from the Hindu Kush mountains in Central Asia and delivers an elevated effect to patients—features an image of the pinnacle of the Hindu Kush mountains,” explains Tilray spokesperson Zack Hutson. “OG Shark—which derives its name from the Great White Shark strain and creates a relaxing and euphoric effect—shows a tropical island beach.”
To see the artwork for all Tilray flower products, click here.
Next: Infused pancake batter in a can
Infused pancake batter in a can
1PM Industries Inc. recently launched Von Baron Farms Artisan Edibles Pancake and Waffle Batter in California. The package is a pressurized steel can with a point-and-spray nozzle. The propellant is CFC-free, and the can is recyclable. Each can holds 8 ounces of ready-to-cook, THC-infused batter; flavors include Banana Bread, Blueberry Lemon and Strawberry Shortcake. The product won the Connoisseur’s Choice award and a Best Edible award at Hempcon San Jose 2015, a cannabis-industry trade show.
Next: Sustainable, compliant exit bags
Sustainable, compliant exit bags
In addition to compliant primary packaging, dispensaries need secondary packaging that fulfills state requirements for child-resistant, reclosable, easy-opening (CRREO) closures. To fill this need, Intellipak USA has developed the HISIERRA exit bag, which incorporates a proprietary CRREO closure featuring a locking slider zipper. The high-barrier, food-grade bag is also eco-friendly. It is made from a bio-based, renewable raw material—sugarcane. And the bags are manufactured in a LEED-certified Silver facility using 100% wind energy.
Learn about the latest developments in packaging design and innovation at WestPack 2016, Feb. 9-11 in Anaheim, CA.