Trends & Tips for Cannabis Packaging Design

cannabis bag packaging

As the cannabis industry continues to grow and gain more attention, cannabis packaging is becoming a hot topic. Keeping up with industry changes, regulations, and trends is more important than ever to position your brand for success.

Cannabis Packaging Trends

The global cannabis packaging market value will reach $1.6 billion in 2024, which creates new sets of supply challenges along with changes to government regulations. Currently, cannabis packaging laws vary throughout the country with each state setting its own guidelines. Hopefully, within the next few years, the industry will become more standardized and more sustainable.

A large challenge facing the cannabis industry is the amount of packaging waste created by the regulated sales of cannabis products. Many states prohibit the recycling of any cannabis packaging, so many companies are taking it upon themselves to reduce waste. Trulieve launched its TruReycle program in October 2021 which allows buyers to return clean containers to any Trulieve dispensary to be shipped to a recycling partner. The process is simple and since being launched has eliminated over 5,000 pounds of packaging waste. Trulieve and other industry leaders have also come together to form and support the Sustainable Cannabis Coalition to work together to improve sustainability in cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution.

With a priority on utilizing sustainable materials in the industry, expect to see new packaging innovations and ways to combat plastic waste introduced over the next few years. Hemp papers, biodegradable plastics, wood fiber boxes, algae inks, and other plant-based materials will be mainstreamed into use.

Cannabis Packaging Design

As legalization pushes further on, new sellers and brands will emerge leading to even more diverse branding and packaging designs. Here are the current packaging design trends in the cannabis industry.

Simple and Clean

A minimalist design that is clutter-free and looks like something you would see on a pharmacy shelf. [Image example - Care By Design]

Care by design cannabis packagingCare by design cannabis packagingCare by design cannabis packaging

Classy and Luxurious

More discreet, elegant designs that give off the vibe of being a luxury item. [Image example - Beboe]

Beboe luxury cannabis packagingBeboe luxury cannabis packagingBeboe luxury cannabis packaging

Bold and Vibrant

Colorful, fun designs that are geared toward attracting shelf shoppers. [Image example - Loudpack]

Loudpack bold cannabis packagingLoudpack bold cannabis packagingLoudpack bold cannabis packaging

Child-Resistant Regulations

For the time being, childproofing has become a default in the cannabis packaging design process. Any packaging supplier or designer you are working with must be considering these regulations so you remain compliant with local rules. Will these rules ease up in the future? It’s hard to say. As legalization spreads there is the feature of overregulation, but also the possibility to be similar to alcohol distribution laws.

Other Local and State Regulations

It’s important to stay on the right side of the law to avoid issues. Some state laws regarding cannabis distribution also relate to advertising policies including what must be on the packaging. Not knowing and fully understanding all rules and guidelines could result in costly penalties.

If you’re looking for a partner to support your growing cannabis business, we can help. Our packaging specialists and engineers have industry experience and will take a careful analysis of your current packaging process. Whether it’s a new design or adding automation to your line, we’ll offer recommendations and provide solutions to set you up for continued growth and efficiency. - Connect with a packaging expert