Cannabis Has A Packaging Problem

Canadian consumers are surprised and angry at the amount of plastic packaging on legal recreational cannabis. 

Health Canada’s regulations require Licensed Producers to sell products in a “container that is tamper-evident, child-resistant, prevents contamination and keeps cannabis dry." 

It also states that "regulations would require that the immediate container be opaque or translucent. Products could have both an inner and outer package, but every package would need to be labelled in accordance with the proposed requirements." The containers need to be large enough to display lengthy health warnings and THC symbols.

For every gram of cannabis sold there can be as much as 70 grams of packaging waste (plastic, cardboard, foil and wrap). 

A pack of 5 pre-rolled joints comes in a giant cardboard box with 5 smaller boxes inside. Each of these smaller boxes contains a plastic tube inside. There is no reason these joints can’t be sold together in one tube or one pack. 

The cannabis industry is facing a serious moral quandary. Licensed Producers have to follow HC’s strict child-resistant packaging regulations, but while doing so they are inadvertently creating a huge waste problem. 

The regulations need to be changed or cannabis companies need to find creative ways to comply while also minimizing the amount of packaging. One suggestion is that LPs use glass containers and find a way to make them “re-fillable”, although this wouldn’t be possible under the current system. 

This industry and its consumers are extremely progressive. As the cannabis industry continues to grow, is it essential that we create environmentally-friendly and sustainable business solutions. The buyers that truly care about this issue will vote with their dollars. The companies that can find a way to minimize their environmental impact will win this consumer segment and ensure the success of this new industry in the long-term. 

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