Cannabis 2.0 – How To Stay Compliant With Your Packaging

When selling any cannabis product, there are certain labelling and packaging requirements that need to be adhered to. These requirements include the use of proper symbols, health warnings, list of ingredients, etc. These requirements are set by the government to ensure that the product is properly marked for consumption. This helps the customer figure out if they can use the product or not due to health reasons. Other requirements pertain to essential information about the product, which includes the way it can be used and in what amount. This goes for all types of containers, including plastic and 100ml glass dropper bottles.

So, here are a few ways to stay compliant with the government’s rules for cannabis 2.0 packaging.

Know The Essential Requirements for Cannabis Packaging

The requirements for cannabis packaging in Canada include various colour and labeling regulations. These help ensure that the type of ingredients and the type of product being sold is clearly noticeable.

1.      Standardized Symbol/Colour Requirements

The cannabis product’s outer packaging should bear the standard logo that is required by the government. It should also not bear any fluorescent colours, including metallic colours. The colours used on the container should, however, create a contrast effect with the yellow of the health warnings and the red of the standardized symbol.

The reason to avoid metallic or flashy colours is to reduce the attractiveness of the product to young people. Also, the colours should allow for easy reading of the information on the labels.

2.      Container Requirements

Cannabis products should be packaged in immediate containers. This can include outer containers in addition to the immediate ones. Other products, depending on their nature, can have wrappers to encase the product.

The containers should be sealed as to keep products like dried cannabis and cannabis seeds dry. The container should also be either opaque or translucent.

Furthermore, all layers of packaging should bear symbols and labels.

3.      Brand Name

The brand name of the product should be printed on the label clearly. It shouldn’t be displayed using metallic colours or fluorescent colours. The type size can be smaller than or equal to the size that is used for health warnings. This is extremely important as it can ensure that the warning takes precedence over the type of product being sold.

4.      THC And CBD Content

All THC and CDB content should be quantified on the label of the packaging. This goes for all types of bottles, including 60ml plastic dropper bottles. The content should be represented by the product quantity (mg) or concentration (mg/g). This can vary, depending on the type of cannabis in the immediate container. It can also vary, depending on whether the cannabis product is in discrete units or not. It can also depend on the intended use of the cannabis product.

5.      Health Warning

Health warning messages have to be clearly displayed. The text should be black and the background should be bright yellow. This is to make sure that the black text is clearly visible against the yellow background. The yellow colour is also universally known for warning labels.

6.      Any Other Brand Element

One brand element other than the name of the product can be displayed on the label. This could include a logo or a slogan. However, like the brand name, it shouldn’t be displayed using metallic colours.

If the brand element is a logo or a picture, then its surface area has to be standardized. It cannot be larger than the standardized cannabis symbol. However, if the brand element consists of only text, the font can’t be larger than that of the warning label.

For cannabis products containing less than 10 micro grams per gram of THC and aren’t required to display the symbol:

  • Any image element must be smaller than or equal to 25% of the PDP of the label.
  • Any image element should be smaller than or equal to the surface area of the health warning message.

Upon application, an international radiation symbol should also be on the label. This only applies to edible cannabis that has been irradiated or treated with radiation or treated by irradiation.

7.      Required Info About The Cannabis Product

All cannabis products have to be labelled with very specific information pertaining to that product. This information has to be displayed on the PDP or the area of the label visible under normal circumstances. These normal circumstances pertain to conditions under which the product can be purchased. Hence, this encompasses when it is sitting on the medical store shelf or beneath a glass window.

These are the specific requirements for the display of the information:

  • The information presented should be in both English and French
  • The background should be white and the text should be black
  • The type style should be regular weight and width standard sans serif without italics
  • The size of the type should be at least 6 point and smaller than the size used for the health warning
  • Outset should be 6 point font with a white background on all sides
  • The Leading information should be 7 point font

The information contained on the label should include:

  • Contact information of the licence holder
  • Lot number
  • Brand name
  • Number of discrete units
  • Warning: Keep Out of Reach of Children
  • Health Warning Message
  • Standardized Cannabis Symbol
  • THC and CBD content
  • Intended use and Directions of Use
  • Bar Code
  • Ingredient List

8.      Bar Code

The bar code is optional. However, if displayed on the product, it should only appear once. It should be in a rectangle, which is black and white, without any other images or designs.

These are some of the major requirements that a cannabis or cannabis-based product must adhere to at all costs. These packaging requirements were designed keeping in mind the safety of the public and the health of the users.


Jack Finkelstein has experience of 25 years in the field of sales and sales management in the market of the United States and Canada. With Med-lock he is managing the one stop shop experience for cannabis packaging. Jack has been in touch with an extensive contact list of large U.S. and Canadian retailers for more than 25 years now.