Child-Resistant Packaging – Takeaways from Part 15 of Cannabis Packaging and Labeling Regulatory Recommendations

Girl trying to open childresistant packaging

The Cannabis Packaging & Labeling Regulatory Recommendations for States & Nations produced by the Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulations in collaboration with the National Cannabis Industry Association takes an extensive look at regulatory recommendations regarding marijuana product packaging, including those surrounding child resistant packaging practices. Created by a committee that displays a passionate and strong interest in the well-being of our country, all recommendations are outlined with detail regarding how to best use them. 

Child-Resistant Packaging for Marijuana: Recommendation 15

Recommendation 15 focuses primarily on child-resistant marijuana product packaging. It states that all cannabis products that are made for sale to consumers must be packaged in a manner that exemplifies child-resistant measures. The product cannot leave the premises of where it is being sold unless it is in a child-resistant packaging container. The recommendation goes on to outline how “multi-unit ingestible product packages, multi-unit transdermal product packages, and activated concentrate product packages must be re-sealable and maintain child-resistant effectiveness for at least the number of closures as there are MSUs (Multiserving Units) in the product.”

The Exception to Child-Resistant Packaging for Marijuana

ASTM Approved ChildResistant Case

There is one exception to the recommended rule of all marijuana products being packaged in child-resistant packaging. If an elderly or disabled person is unable to open the marijuana product packaging due to its child-resistant features, then the product can be sold in packaging that is not child resistant. This is to ensure that elderly and disabled individuals still have full access to cannabis products. The Poison Prevention Packaging Act allows for regulated prescription drugs to be dispensed in packaging that is not child resistant upon the specific request of the prescribing doctor or patient.

A History of Child-Resistant Packaging

The Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 implemented child-resistant packaging as a way to keep children safe from the accidental consumption of dangerous household products. There are many products that are already stored in child-resistant packaging, including a wide range of medications, like ibuprofen. Certain cosmetics and other products, like liquid nicotine, are stored in child-resistant containers as well. Most states require cannabis products to be kept in child-resistant packaging, but the extent of these laws varies from one state to the next.

There is consensus among some policymakers and many public health experts that all cannabis products should be sold in child-resistant packaging. Some marijuana products (such as cannabis edibles) tend to have a certain appeal to younger children. While there is no hard evidence that marijuana is harmful for children, as a country we should come together to ensure it is kept out of the hands of our youth and young children.

Child-Resistant Packaging Even for Cannabis Products that Lack Appeal for Minors

During the creation of The Cannabis Packaging & Labeling: Regulatory Recommendations for States & Nations document, there was a debate among the committee members surrounding whether all products should be put in child-resistant containers. The debate stemmed from the fact that not all marijuana products appeal to children. It was ultimately decided that until better recommendations could be made, all products should, in fact, be placed in child-resistant containers. 58% agreed cannabis flower should be in child-resistant packaging, 57% agreed non-ingestible cannabis products should be, and 75% agreed concentrates should be packaged in a manner that is child-resistant. As part of their regulations, Canada which legalized cannabis for the entire nation, requires child-resistant packaging for all products including cannabis flower (“bud”).

Also noteworthy is that federal special packaging standards combined with numerous testing methods have been in place for many years to ensure packaging is child-resistant. The report highlights that these same standards should be enforced with all cannabis products.

Want to learn more about cannabis packaging regulations? Check out The Cannabis Packaging & Labeling: Regulatory Recommendations for States & Nations.
See the full report at this link:


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