WSLCB Issues Marijuana Packaging & Labeling: Rules And Process Update

Dear Stakeholders:

As you may know, we have been working on revisions to marijuana packaging and labeling rules. We filed a CR-101 on May 29, 2019, to consider two rule making petitions, further discuss the addition of board interim polices 05-2018, 07-2018, 08-2018, 09-2018, and 10-2018 to implement Engrossed Senate Substitute Bill (ESSB) 5298.

ESSB 5298 allows additional information on the packaging and labeling of marijuana products to assist consumers when making purchases of these products. The additional information may include structure and function claims on Department of Health (DOH) compliant products, as well as directions or recommended conditions of use, or a warning that describes the product’s psychoactive effect for all marijuana products.

Stakeholder engagement is encouraged during the rule development process.  The Liquor and Cannabis Board anticipates hosting facilitated listen and learn sessions in September and October, and invites your feedback on draft conceptual rules that will be released in mid-September.

While we are in the rule development phase, packaging submissions containing information associated with ESSB 5298 will not be accepted.  It is early in the process and the effective date of ESSB 5298 is January 1, 2020. We anticipate accepting this type of packaging and labeling submission described in ESSB 5298 starting December 2019 following rule adoption, but before the anticipated rule effective date of January 1, 2020. We ask that you hold any packaging and labeling submissions related to ESSB 5298 until that time.

Thank you for your continued partnership and commitment to the rule development process.

Questions? Contact the Licensing Division – Label Approval at labelapproval@lcb.wa.gov.

Adoption Of Innovative Materials Or Manufacturing Bioplastic Packaging To Boost Growth Of Global Bioplastic Packaging Market 2019-2023 –

UNITED KINGDOM: The global bioplastic packaging market is expected to post a CAGR of over 18% during the period 2019-2023, according to the latest market research report by Technavio.

Factors such as increasing environmental concerns are leading to higher consumer preference for biodegradable packaging materials. To cater to the consumer demands, many end-users such as retailers and food processing companies are focusing on offering products in bioplastic packaging. Therefore, the rise in adoption of bioplastic packaging by various end-users will fuel market growth during the forecast period.

As per Technavio, the adoption of innovative materials for manufacturing bioplastic packaging will have a positive impact on the market and contribute to its growth significantly over the forecast period. This global bioplastic packaging market 2019-2023 research report also analyzes other important trends and market drivers that will affect market growth over 2019-2023.

This report is available at a USD 1,000 discount for a limited time only: View market snapshot before purchasing

Global bioplastic packaging market: Adoption of innovative materials for manufacturing bioplastic packaging

The demand for bioplastic packaging is growing rapidly, owing to the rising need for eco-friendly and sustainable packaging from various end-user industries. There has been a rise in the adoption of various plant-based raw materials such as fruit skins, hemp, and sugarcane for manufacturing bioplastic packaging. Hemp is being adopted as a useful raw material for producing bioplastic. Furthermore, bioplastic polymers such as polyhydroxyalkanoate are being derived from microorganisms that feed on seaweed as well. Thus, the use of such eco-friendly raw materials for manufacturing bioplastic packaging is likely to drive the market during the forecast period.

“Apart from the adoption of innovative materials for manufacturing bioplastic packaging, the continuous development of new products, advances in nano-reinforcement of bioplastic packaging, government initiatives, and the rising awareness of sustainable packaging solutions are factors that will boost the growth of the global market,” says a senior analyst at Technavio.

Global bioplastic packaging market: Segmentation analysis

This market research report segments the global bioplastic packaging market by type (rigid and flexible) and geographical regions (Europe, North America, APAC, South America, MEA).

The European region led the market in 2018, followed by North America, APAC, South America, and MEA respectively. However, during the forecast period, the APAC region is expected to register the highest incremental growth due to the significant increase in the use of bioplastic packaging for pharmaceutical applications.

WSLCB Approves Jan. 1, 2020 Date For All Marijuana Products, Packaging & Labeling

WASHINGTON: On December 12, 2018, the Board adopted interim packaging and labeling policies. These policies will remain in effect until adoption of rules to implement them. It is anticipated that once adopted, all changes will be enforced January 1, 2020, giving licensees approximately one year to prepare for the new rules by selling out existing product and updating their packaging and labeling to meet new requirements.

Approved Colors, Shapes and Other Allowances

Clarifying “False and Misleading” Language

Other Resources

WSLCB Releases Interim Policies Adopted For Marijuana Packaging, Labeling, and Product Approval Process and Guidelines

WASHINGTON: Effective today, the below interim policies have been implemented for marijuana packaging, labeling the product approval process, and guidelines.

BIP-10-2018, Packaging and Labeling Requirements 
This interim policy clarifies the procedures and processes for packaging, labeling, and product decisions for marijuana infused edible products.

  • Designates approved colors and shapes
  • Designates approved colors and background colors for packaging and labeling
  • Indicates other packaging allowances, such as photos, clear windows, and logo usage

BIP-07-2018, Packaging and Labeling Requirements
This interim policy further clarifies the phrase “false and misleading”  regarding packaging and labeling of marijuana-infused products, and addresses concerns regarding packaging and labeling that is designed to mimic, imply or reference a product containing alcohol.

  • Labels affixed to a container or package containing usable marijuana, marijuana concentrates, and marijuana infused products must not mimic, imply, represent or contain any statement, depiction, illustration, design, brand or name of a product containing alcohol.
  • Product label designs that mimic or imply that a marijuana product contains alcohol have been considered false and misleading, and increase public safety risk. Using words or references (such as non-alcoholic,not a beer, not a spirit, etc.) does not supersede the rule.

Additional Interim Policies Coming Soon
Two additional interim policies are currently being finalized by staff. Notification will be forthcoming once these policies are finalized.

In addition, staff will bring forward a modification proposal to these interim policies, making all changes effective January 1, 2020.

Webinar
webinar outlining the proposed changes and their impacts is scheduled at 10 a.m., Wednesday, December 18. A separate notification will follow for this webinar.

As always, refer to the LCB website for the latest and most thorough information. The LCB maintains a resource page for Packaging and Labeling that is accessible from the homepage.

We believe the clarified approach to packaging, labeling and product approval requirements will benefit our licensees and improve compliance going forward. We appreciate the involvement and participation of the industry as we streamline and improve processes for marijuana infused edibles and their packages/labels.

Cannabis Industry Needs To Know Packaging Laws

CALIFORNIA: A leading expert has warned the fledgling Californian Cannabis industry that businesses could soon face heavy fines for breaking new laws they don’t fully understand.

Brad Davis, Product Category Manager of Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging, has warned that Proposition 65 has effectively changed the regulations already. As the legal cannabis industry is in a state of constant flux, more regulations could follow, and cannabis licensees need to understand that every change could affect their labeling strategy.

“Proposition 65 is not specified within the MAUCRSA guidelines,” said Davis. “But any cannabis products manufactured in California that contain chemicals above safe harbor levels will be required, under Prop. 65, to add to their label warnings. This applies to everyone in the cannabis supply chain.”

Prop. 65 regulations come into force on August 30, 2018, and every affected product must be clearly labeled unless it was manufactured before the cut-off date. But this is just one regulation, and there will be more changes as the cannabis industry matures.

It’s a controversial industry that has only just found acceptance after decades of prohibition. The cannabis industry will inevitably be under constant scrutiny, and there will be test cases to show that the regulators are taking a strong stance. Individual businesses could find they fall foul of the law and incur massive fines or sanctions if they fail to label their products properly.

Regulatory compliance can be a complete minefield, but there is a simple solution. Los Angeles-based Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging specializes in helping clients navigate this pitfall-strewn maze. One of the ways APCP is helping clients is with an ‘in stock’ exit bag with 24-hour delivery where the state requires childproof bags for customer walkout.

The company goes beyond the rules and can help clients produce eye-catching packaging that will help them stand out in a competitive industry that is already turning over more than $31 billion a year globally according to a study by the Brightfield Group and could easily top $20 billion in California alone by 2023. That’s going to reap real rewards for suppliers and retailers at every stage in the cannabis supply chain.

Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging even offers a full range of products that can benefit each stage of the cannabis supply chain. The company is building out a white label range of goods for those that want to get into the explosive cannabis industry, beginning with the development of a supply chains solutions website and an eCommerce platform to launch in Q2.

It’s a novel way for companies to dip their toes into the water in one of the most lucrative, and yet highly-regulated new industries in North America. With Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging on their team, they can rest assured that the products are compliant and clients can simply focus on marketing, sales, and the customer.

Acorn Paper Creates New Division Targeting The Cannabis Industry

CALIFORNIA: Acorn Paper has launched a new division to meet the paper, packaging, janitorial/sanitation and custom promotional needs of the Cannabis industry. Branded as Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging (APCP), this division will address the entire cannabis supply chain to growers, manufacturers, distributors and consumer facing retail products. Acorn Paper is positioning itself to become a packaging industry thought leader in the fast-growing cannabis industry.

To lead this division, Acorn has hired Brad Davis as the APCP Product Category manager. A trailblazing senior sales, marketing and business development executive, Davis has a proven record leveraging innovation to drive revenue and market share growth. Davis’ background includes several C-suite corporate sales executive posts, at major digital media organizations including Disney, AOL and Comcast. He also brings substantial experience with entrepreneurial initiatives. A recognized “lifestyle brand expert” in fashion, parties & events, he was recently recognized by Angeleno Magazine as one of Los Angeles’ “Modern Men.”

“Acorn Paper and Packaging are using their years of experience in meeting standard and custom packaging needs for a variety of industries, for the rapidly changing cannabis supply chain- due to both state regulations and the changing marijuana consumer,” Davis told MJ News Network.  “APCP (Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging) has been created to dedicate specific, focused resources on meeting the needs of all aspects of the cannabis and related products industry.”

Davis will manage day to day operations of the division, including sales and marketing initiatives with general management responsibilities. Davis will work with the 90+ sellers in the Acorn Paper sales organization, and will initially focus efforts on the West Coast, with plans to offer a national footprint and e-commerce solutions in the coming year. A new destination URL will debut shortly: www.cannabispckg.com.

David Weissberg, CEO & President of Acorn, said, “We recognize the tremendous opportunity that the cannabis industry presents to our company. This will be a $70B industry in just a few years, and Brad Davis is the perfectly positioned executive to lead our initiatives in the space.”

Davis is “Proud to represent one of the largest privately held packaging companies on the west coast. With their long history of success and vertical focus in areas from agriculture to wine, addressing the needs of the entire cannabis supply chain is a natural addition to the Acorn family.”

Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging has recently became a corporate sponsor of the MJBA (Marijuana Business Association) and will have presence at trade shows and conferences, including MJBizCon throughout 2018.

“Acorn Paper Cannabis Packaging chose to join MJBA, as our first professional trade association partnership, to augment the thought leadership MJBA has demonstrated over the past 6 years,” commented Davis. “Our goal is to help the cannabis industry understand the ways experts in brand marketing and  packaging can impact consumer sales and maximize effective fiscal management throughout the cannabis supply chain.”

Brad Davis can be reached at bdavis@acorn-paper.com or at 323-980-8353.

Kush Bottles Announces Senior Leadership Changes

Ben Wu steps down as Chief Operating Officer; CFO Jim McCormick adds COO to role

CALIFORNIA: Kush Bottles, a leading provider of packaging, supplies, vaporizers, accessories and branding solutions for the regulated cannabis industry, announced today that Ben Wu, who has served as Chief Operating Officer since 2014, will step down effective today, January 12th, 2018.  Mr. Wu will continue to support the Company as an independent consultant for a minimum of six months focusing his efforts towards ongoing projects. As a result, Mr. Jim McCormick will assume the role of Chief Operating Officer in addition to continuing to serve in his current capacity as Chief Financial Officer.

“I would like to thank Ben for all his contributions to Kush Bottles, which have helped to grow the Company into the cannabis industry’s leading supplier of packaging, supplies and other ancillary products, and I wish him all the best for the future,” commented Nicholas Kovacevich, Chief Executive Officer of Kush Bottles. “Jim is more than qualified to take over the COO responsibilities having previously been general manager leading multi-market operations in the tobacco industry.  He has made a significant positive impact on the organization during his short tenure with the Company leveraging his experience and business acumen.  As we enter 2018, we look forward to leveraging this platform and continuing to build shareholder value.”

Jim McCormick, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, commented, “Since joining Kush Bottles last year, I have been extremely impressed with the professionalism and efficiency with which the Company is run. Kush Bottles has invested significantly in facilities, technology, and systems to support its development, and is implementing a multi-faceted growth strategy to drive sales and build value for shareholders through a combination of organic growth and M&A activity. I remain excited about the significant growth opportunities ahead of us at this exciting stage of the Company’s development.”

 

Top 3 Drivers Of North American Cannabis Packaging Market

UNITED KINGDOM: Technavio market research analysts forecast the cannabis packaging market in North America to grow at a CAGR of more than 10% during the forecast period, according to their latest report.

The market study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the cannabis packaging market in North America for 2017-2021. The report also lists rigid packaging and flexible packaging as the two major segments based on packaging type. The rigid packaging segment dominated the market with close to 62% of the market share in 2016.

 

OLCC Notice of Public Hearing: Alternating Proprietors Package

OREGON: The Oregon Liquor Control Commission will be holding a Public Hearing to address amending OAR 845-025-3250 and adopting 845-05-3255 – Alternating Proprietors Package.

As OLCC staff has begun licensing cannabinoid edible processors, staff has discovered that many processor do not own a commercial kitchen to produce their products. Instead, as is common in the catering industry, many edible/concentrate makers rent commercial kitchen space or share space with another processor to save on costs.

Existing rules allow for this practice under certain conditions for processors with an edible endorsement. However, existing rules do not contemplate that many edible makers also produce their own infused products, which requires a concentrate endorsement. The Commission is expanding the rule to allow processors who operate under this rule to also produce certain concentrates for use in their edible or topical products.

Deadline Approaches for “Not For Kids” Cannabis Labelling in WA

WASHINGTON:  The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has issued a reminder that the “Not for Kids” warning symbol will be required to be placed on all packages of marijuana products meant to be eaten or swallowed effective February 14, 2017.

The Board recognizes that changing packaging requires time which is why the effective date has been pushed out to mid-February, enforcement of the new requirement will commence at the same time. For your convenience the basic requirements are listed below as well as links to the rules and additional information.

The warning symbol cannot be any smaller than three-fourths inch in height by one-half inch in width. It must be of a size so as to be legible, readily visible by the consumer, and effective to alert consumers and children that the product is not for kids.

The warning symbol must be placed on the “principal display panel” or front of the package.

  • Principal display panel” is defined as  the portion(s) of the surface of the immediate container, or of any outer container or wrapping, which bear(s) the labeling designed to be most prominently displayed, shown, presented, or examined under conditions of retail sale.
  • “Immediate container” means the external container holding the marijuana product.

The symbol can be placed on the package/label in 3 ways:

  • The digital image can be incorporated onto labels for marijuana edible products;
  • The digital image may be downloaded and used to print stickers for placement on the front of marijuana edible products; or
  • Licensees may choose to purchase stickers of the “Not for Kids” warning symbol for placement on the front of marijuana edible products.

The symbol or stickers cannot cover or obscure any other information required to be on packages or labels for marijuana products.

The symbol is trademarked and cannot be changed in any way other than for sizing purposes, except that a licensee must use a black border around the edges of the white background of the warning symbol image when the label or packaging is also white to ensure visibility of the warning symbol.

A digital image of the warning symbol can be found at the Washington Poison Center’s website and additional information is available on the WSLCB website. You can view the rules as adopted by the Board on the WSLCB’s Recently Adopted Rules webpage.

After the rules are effective on February 14, 2017, they will be available on the Legislature’s website in the marijuana rules chapter 314-55 WAC: http://app.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=314-55. The Legislature’s website contains the most current information and versions of all laws and rules in the state.