Marijuana used to come in little, difficult to open yet easy to rip baggies. If the supplier happened to be in a festive mood, maybe the bag had some trees or smiley faces on it. Times sure have changed. With the major shifts in marijuana legalization and production over the last decade, it’s easy to forget the old days when it was illegal and there were no frills involved in the packaging.
Now, it seems, there are frills everywhere. In a legal market that is ripe with competition, everyone is in a race to think of the next big thing. Whether it is a cannabis sparkling beverage or a new type of edible — the entire market is becoming more and more saturated with concepts. Even marijuana packaging, this once simple, plastic and flimsy baggy has evolved into a major part of what sells products in the legal cannabis market.
There are, of course, legal and logistical considerations one has to make when designing packaging. But apart from that, it is often all about making a statement with how you package your weed. It can mean the success of a new budding brand or the failure of another company that gets lost in the sea of competition.
Here are five of the most popular and noteworthy approaches to marijuana packaging today to help you get a sense of how far this simple afterthought has evolved into a deciding factor in the industry.
At marijuana dispensaries, it is no longer simply about the strain or whether it is indica or sativa, but who makes it and distributes it is equally important. Brands, brand recognition and reputation are already playing a role in how people perceive marijuana. One example of how packaging can shape a brand’s identity is Narvona. This company took the concept of marijuana packaging and took it to such a high concept and professional level that they won a PAC Packaging Consortium Global Packaging Award. They were the first cannabis company ever to do so in 2020.
Nicolette Pavlis, the company’s president, told Forbes, “Like everyone in this business, we wanted to show our parents what cannabis should be,” she said. “Make It legit. Make it Sephora.” The packaging, in other words, strives to give the product an identity and legitimacy, just like a makeup brand or a household product. Successful marketing like this can really help establish a brand, and that is why it has become such a popular approach to packaging.
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Another popular packaging technique is the minimalist approach. Sleek, clean surfaces that just highlight the brand name and the product itself. You are likely to see this minimalist trend frequently, as it looks clean, follows all the compliance standards, and is also a cost effective way to give a professional look to the product. In regards to minimalist cannabis packaging, Packaging Digest said, “Taking a minimalist approach to branding can give a business a more stylish and contemporary look. Clean and simple designs still fit well with the theme of relaxation and meditation but bring the brand into the new era.”
Eco-Friendly and Organic
Eco friendly and organic approaches to packaging are also successful and popular. They compliment the natural cannabis products, and also appeal to a significant portion of the consumer base. As herbceo puts it, “Cannabis consumers are generally very environmentally aware and paying it forward in terms of eco-responsibility is one way to capture the loyalty of the millions of cannabis lovers around the world.” With more and more focus going towards the importance of a lower carbon footprint, it is likely we see a continued growth in the eco-friendly packaging market.
Compliant and Risk-Free
While compliance packaging is not exactly “trendy,” it certainly is mandatory. Most states require packaging to be a minimum of childproof, non-colorful and “opaque” with several warning labels. These laws vary significantly from state to state, with some states even requiring specific fonts to be used. These limitations, while not a specific style of packaging, can shape the way packaging looks. It is also the reason you may notice marijuana packaging varies significantly from state to state — it is not because of a lack of creativity.
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Glass and Airtight Packing Still Reign Supreme
You may wonder if there is any value to the packaging, or if you should choose one type of weed over another bad on its packaging. The answer is… sometimes. If you are buying flower, especially in larger quantities, you want a container that is not simply appealing to the eye. It also must be functional.
As we previously reported, glass sealable jars like mason jar styles remain the best material to use for marijuana packaging, especially if you plan to store it for a prolonged period of time. This is why you often find some of the best flower in glass airtight containers. It is a classic look and it keeps the top quality bud fresh.