Ready or not, marijuana is going mainstream. As of April 2018, 29 states have legalized medicinal marijuana and nine states have given the green light for recreational use. Canada is also expected to legalize cannabis this summer.
And forget the old stereotypes: we’re not talking about beatniks smoking in their parents’ basements anymore. As it has grown in popularity, cannabis has transformed into a full-fledged industry with products including oils, lotions, and foodstuffs.
You know what that means, right? All of those products need packaging. Paperboard offers some unique advantages, especially when it comes to branding and marketing.
Various governments regulate the sale and marketing of cannabis products, so it’s crucial to understand the requirements before making packaging for the cannabis industry. However, one requirement that all converters will likely have to contend with is child safety.
Because child-proof packaging is a must, many cannabis products are sold in jars, bottles, or plastic bags. While these substrates may satisfy child safety rules, they don’t offer much opportunity for on-package branding or marketing. Labels can only have so much impact, and in a growing industry with increasing competition, marketing and differentiation will be a must.
Folding cartons offer both the childproofing and knock-out branding the cannabis industry needs.
Folding cartons offer it all
PPC’s North American Paperboard Packaging Competition has seen cannabis cartons for a few years, but none have been more impressive than the SlideBoxCR from All Packaging Company. This carton, which took the top award in the 2017 competition, perfectly highlights the value that paperboard can provide the cannabis industry.
A patent-pending design that required 17 iterations to perfect, SlideBoxCR features both an outer carton and an inner sliding tray that contains the product. To unlock the tray, the consumer must firmly press a hidden flap against the inside wall. This intentionally non-intuitive locking mechanism ensures that children cannot access the product. And it truly works: in a third-party study, all 50 of the 3-5-year-old participants were unable to access the product.
In addition to its uniquely functional structure, the carton also allows for premium graphic treatments. Embossing, foil stamping, spot UV, PMS colors, and soft touch coating may all be incorporated without limitation. Between the graphics and protective structure, this carton exemplifies all our industry has to offer.
Step it up with a rigid box
While some brands turn to folding cartons to give their cannabis products a premium feel, others are stepping it up with rigid boxes. This sturdy, elegant paperboard packaging offers a heightened sense of luxury and quality.
Warneke Paper Box manufactured one such rigid box for Leafs By Snoop, rapper Snoop Dogg’s line of high-end marijuana products. The clean white lid features a special spot application of velvety soft touch coating in the pattern of marijuana leaves. Requiring a special blanket for application, this finish adds a splash of tactile excitement to the unboxing experience. Below, the base has colorful imagery that peeks out from the lid and is further revealed upon opening. The Leafs By Snoop line features several different cannabis strains, and these are distinguished by different images on the base. This excellent secondary packaging puts the brand first and also offers several design elements that give consumers a unique opening experience.
As the cannabis industry grows, paperboard packaging manufacturers may find themselves with the opportunity to take on new work and provide unique value to customers.
Have you already done work for the cannabis industry? We’d love to see it in this year’s Carton Competition!