MMC Depot – Helping Dispensaries Navigate the Marijuana Packaging Compliance Minefield

Marijuana LegalizationThe federal government continues maintaining its status quo of marijuana prohibition. A proverbial wrench in the works inflicting itself on marijuana packaging, labeling, advertising, and more, states undergoing legalization efforts have been left to fend for themselves, resulting in an anything goes cornucopia of rules and regulations, varying widely from state to state.

Legalization in nearly half the country
Eighty percent of states have legalized some form of medical marijuana. 24 states have broadly legalized it for medical purposes, including AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, D.C., DE, HI, IL, MA, ME, MI, M MD, MN, MT, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA, and most recently PA. AK, CO, OR, and WA offer it for recreational use, with more states expected to take the plunge into medical and/or recreational legalization this election year.

A marijuana melting pot
With so many states experimenting and constantly changing marijuana packaging and sales rules to put out legal and regulatory fires locally, wide variances and contradictions between states are inescapable, leaving those in search of marijuana supplies wonder if they’re in compliance from month to month. With no ruling governmental organization, guessing at what packaging may (currently) be legal in each dispensary’s state is a crapshoot, at best.

Not all state marijuana legalization systems are created equal
Highly-regulated from seed to sale by individual states, the federal government’s current stance does nothing to distinguish effective policies from failing ones. How are these state-by-state marijuana dispensary legislation experiments playing out?

  • Usage limitations
    Seventeen states only allow the use of cannabis extracts, however each limits THC amounts differently:

    • North Carolina
      No more than 0.3% THC in oil.
    • Georgia
      Up to 5%.
  • Limiting consumption by children
    It is illegal in all 50 states for minors to use marijuana recreationally, with strict zoning restrictions in nearly every state.

    • Washington
      Requires edible products and concentrates be dispensed in single-serving, child-resistant packaging. Products must feature “only by adults 21 and older” and “keep out of reach of children” warnings.
    • Massachusetts & Minnesota
      Requires “keep away from children” product label warnings.
    • Colorado
      Edibles require a state-provided symbol imprinted directly on the product.
  • Diversion
    With no federal legislation, diversion of marijuana to states where it has not been legalized increases consequences and law enforcement costs in neighboring states.

    • Oregon
      Customers may only purchase a single ounce of marijuana per transaction.
    • Minnesota
      Product must be labeled with a warning stating transfer to another state can lead to a patient losing their registration.
    • California
      A new regulatory system, expected to be implemented by 2018, has been designed to remedy a system which thus-far has essentially no purchasing limits or inventory controls.
  • Consumer protection
    Most states fail to employ effective labeling, packaging, and dosing of edibles. (A recent Denver-area murder resulting in a landmark lawsuit may result in distinct change, however.)

    • Colorado
      Colorado’s edibles regulations are strongest. A standard serving of THC is mandated at 10 milligrams, with a limit of 100. Multi-serving packets must be “physically demarked” so end-users can “intuitively determine” individual servings,” each serving marked with the state’s THC symbol. Serving size, active THC content, and delayed-effects information must also be displayed on marijuana packaging. To leave the premises, it must also be separated into one child-resistant container per 10 milligrams of THC.

Avoid costly marijuana packaging mistakes
Is your marijuana-packaging supplier up on the latest regulatory changes? No matter where your dispensary resides, the packaging professionals at MMC Depot have you covered, with the most current state-specific packaging and labeling “best practices” information. Don’t risk your business’ reputation. Keep your customers safe and your dispensary regulation compliant with the help of the industry leader in marijuana packaging. Contact MMC Depot today.