Starting a marijuana dispensary can be a daunting task no matter what state you live in. Despite medical marijuana being legal in 30 states and legal for recreational use in 9 (plus Washington D.C.), entrepreneurs hoping to capitalize on the green rush face a multitude of obstacles when deciding to take their first step in an industry expected to gross $57 billion in revenues by 2027, according to estimates from the Arcview Group. To say that dispensaries have their hands full when jumping through hurdle after hurdle in the ever changing landscape of the legalized marijuana industry would be nothing short of an understatement. Whether coming up with enough capital to fund their enterprise, choosing the most optimal location to set up shop within city ordinances, or selecting the most compliant packaging to secure cannabis in for their customers, such as smell proof bags and containers, dispensaries face a quandary of issues when doing business in one of the highest grossing industries of our time.
Although different on a state by state basis, for the sake of this article, we'll be discussing the various types of smell proof and child proof packaging requirements that dispensaries in the first 4 states to legalize for recreational use absolutely must have, in order to be in good standing with major regulatory agencies such as the ASTM, CPSC, and local government boards. Not being in compliance with major government packaging requirements could mean the difference between having a dispensary that stays open and prospers, or one that is suddenly shut down overnight when government or state regulators come knocking on your dispensary's door for an inspection.
The Pillar of Colorado's Rules for Recreational Marijuana
Ever since being the first state to legalize recreational marijuana back in 2012, Colorado has been at the forefront of government compliance for child resistant, smell proof bags, prescription/exit bags and smell proof containers. With rules being updated continually since the inception of its legalization process, Colorado law explicitly states that marijuana leaving a recreational store must be child resistant, non-appealing to children, properly labeled under the most recent Colorado packaging and labeling rules
, have text that is no smaller than 1/16 of an inch, clearly printed in English, resealable if not for single use, and must include Colorado's Universal THC symbol. Besides having some of the strictest rules and regulations for smell proof bags in the country, Colorado's edible containers must include all of the ingredients that the edible has including THC potency measured in milligrams. Serving as a poster child for the recreational marijuana movement in terms of sales and establishing an efficient system, Colorado's smell proof bag and container requirements exemplify basic necessities that a dispensary must work into their packaging repertoire if they truly wish to succeed in this growing industry.
Washington's Laundry List of Requirements For Smell Proof Bags
More exhaustive than Colorado's list of smell proof bag and child resistant container requirements, Washington's recreational marijuana dispensaries have their own set of standards to comply with when doing business in the industry. In it's first year, Washington recreational marijuana grossed $257 million in revenues, not to mention the $70 million that the state generated in taxable revenues. Along with having some of the highest revenues for recreational use of marijuana, Washington also has some of the strictest rules pertaining to smell proof bags, and child resistant packaging for dispensaries in general. For a comprehensive list of packaging and labeling requirements established by Washington state legislature visit WAC 314-55-105
Leave it to the Beaver State For Recreational Marijuana Guidelines
Falling under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission
, recreational marijuana was finally passed in Oregon this past October leaving new recreational businesses in the state scrambling for compliant packaging in which to place their best buds. Despite medical marijuana being legalized in the state since 1998, allowing compliant medical dispensaries to have the upper hand in dealing with new packaging requirements, new regulations set forth by the OLCC put strict limitations for marijuana exiting recreational facilities in the Beaver state. The OLCC laid out strict protocols in introducing new requirements for smell proof bags, weed containers, edible containers and child resistant packaging for marijuana exiting recreational facilities. For an overview of the requirements pertaining to recreational marijuana packaging in the state of Oregon check out our guide to Oregon marijuana packaging
laws for 2018.
Don't Forget About Alaska!
Although not as strenuous as the other recreational states, Alaska's cannabis laws and requirements are still enforced by local authorities. Don't believe us? Just ask Charlo Green, the former news reporter turned dispensary owner, who made national headlines by quitting her job in epic fashion while uttering the lines "F**k it, I quit," on live television. Green had her "so-called" dispensary raided last March for illegally selling marijuana and not being compliant with state guidelines in how marijuana is to be sold in Alaska. Maybe the authorities just had a bone to pick with her for bringing bad publicity to their favorite news channel or maybe she really was just not complying with state law. Regardless of the fact, it's hard to run a dispensary when you're locked up behind bars or have your transportation impounded as was the case with Miss Greene. If you're a dispensary owner for either a medical or recreational marijuana dispensary and are interested in Marijuana Packaging's product certifications visit our product certifications
page for a better idea of how we can assist your business in this new era of compliant marijuana legalization.