There is abundance of packaging suppliers that are getting into the Cannabis space. Here is quick perspective and what to prepare for taken from the May/June 2018 “ Healthcare Packaging “ magazine. This is a perspective taken from those who supply packaging material.
Child Resistance and Blisters: With any marijuana product, child-resistance is an important piece of the puzzle. Flexible packaging and Blisters will play an important role. Plastic “exit pouches” are required at the point of purchase in some states’ cannabis dispensaries, and these must include a certified, child-resistant feature.
“On the marketing side, most cannabis manufactures are not blister packing yet. It’s a way to set your product apart from the typical bottled soft gels and capsules,” says Wes Mancoff, President of Thomas Packaging.
Nancy Warner, CEO of Assurpack, states, a pharma packaging industry veteran who supplies only child-resistant packaging, notes “People are starting to use primary blisters. The industry ti trying to be legitimate. They should take the highest level of precaution, so I always tell people you have to use F1 because you don’t know otherwise, and how can you support anything less than that?”
And what about sustainability? Most people want recyclable materials, but this can be difficult to balance with the need for child-resistance. Additionally, many cannot afford these options.
Products: While flower is still common, the sheer number of delivery methods is staggering; edibles and infused products are rising in popularity. “A lot of medical patients don’t want to smoke the flower either for health reasons or they are limited in where can smoke,”, says Mancoff. “Capsules and soft gels with extracted THC and/or cannabidiol (CBD) are an easy delivery method that can be consumed discreetly.”
Aside from patient preference, laws in some states may help the edible market become as large, or larger, than that of flower. “Some states-like Pennsylvania at the moment – are passing medical marijuana laws that only allow concentrates and edibles, as supposed to flower,” says Chris Trabbold, Field Service Manager at All-Fill Inc., which supplies cannabis companies like Kiva Confections with packaging machinery.
Automation: Not all, but many edible are still produced in kitchens, not factories. “Most packaging is still semi-automatic with the edible world. But for flower, oils, cartridges and tinctures, people are using more large scale filling machines,” says Werner. “They’re not purchasing a bottle line that goes 300 per minute, but more like 50 per minute. Eventually there will be a lot more equipment demands.” Warner says she works a lot with preformed blisters, foil, cards and simple heat-sealing machines.
“Because it’s still federal illegal, you can’t ship across state lines. One thing we’re seeing is companies planning to open facilities in every state where cannabis is legal, “ says Mancoff. Some producers have even considered purchasing equipment and driving it across state lines to their different facilities because production requirements are small enough.
Future Planning: Where at Cheever we supply several different packaging manufacturers with various films and paper, we get to see firsthand some of the requests or questions they are facing first hand. If you are thinking of expanding your packaging, please gives a shout to pick our brain, we would love to hear on your project.
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