There’s a common misconception about child resistance that stretches well beyond the cannabis industry and deep into the general public. It’s that the effectiveness of a closure is the sole factor in determining child resistance. It’s easy for people who are unfamiliar with strict state and federal guidelines to adopt this simple misunderstanding. But any child can show you, if not tell you, that there are often more ways to get into a package than the suggested opening. In truth, when packaging is tested for child resistance, there is a stage of the trial in which children are encouraged to use any means at their disposal to access the product, including biting and clawing. So, you can see how glass child resistant jars could pose as more of a challenge than a cheap plastic bag, if both containers were using a similar seal. In the cannabis industry, we use a variety of reliable materials to create child resistant containers that suit every style and intention. But which material is best for your product’s packaging?
Unless you’re surrounded by children who intentionally like to smash glass, and we know there are a few of them out there, glass child resistant jars are usually a safe bet for keeping out prying hands. They usually employ some type of push-and-turn plastic screw cap at the closure and even the most tenacious child won’t be able to bite or claw their way through glass. Nothing short of shattering the packaging will do the trick. People love glass child resistant jars because they provide a hygienic means of storing cannabis. Glass is also less breathable than plastic so can work as a long-term storage solution for cannabis, assuming there isn’t a lot of air trapped in the container. Glass child resistant containers fall short of state compliance guidelines for exit packaging since they are transparent. However, you can also find opaque black glass jars, use labels, or put the products in exit packaging at the dispensary (such as Pinch ‘n’ Slide mylar bags).
For exit packaging, mylar is an unparalleled child resistant material. The compounds that compose mylar make it incapable of penetration by persistent children. Child resistant exit bags made of mylar are opaque and hygienic enough for food, so they easily pass state compliance regulations. Some mylar bag models, such as the Pinch ‘n’ Slide, are resealable, making them ideal for exit packaging in any state. People also enjoy the convenient portability of mylar. Glass child resistant jars can present a more elegant look on a dispensary shelf, but mylar bags are fully customizable so they’re a perfect branding opportunity.
Plastic comes in an immense variety of consistencies with variable properties. We can assume the plastic used in the construction of child resistant packaging is fairly rugged, or at least rugged enough to successfully repel the full wrath of a child for at least 10 minutes. Plastic will breathe more than mylar and glass child resistant jars and, depending on the quality of the material, isn’t as hygienic. However, it is affordable, easy to work with, and in high abundance. It just may not be the best choice as a long-term storage solution.
Metal containers aren’t that common in the cannabis industry, but you can still find them. Some producers like the aesthetic idea of metal containers but finding child resistant metal packaging is a bit more challenging than the other varieties on our list. If you can find child resistant metal packaging, it probably won’t be as affordable as mylar, plastic or glass child resistant jars and, depending on the type of metal used, may be a bit heavier.
You’ll often find silicone relegated to dab containers as opposed to cannabis containers for flower. This is because of silicone’s non-stick properties. Like plastic, silicone isn’t really ideal as a long-term storage solution for cannabis concentrates or flower, but it can be great for transporting, thus it’s strong popularity in dispensary packaging. Silicone is also a very resilient material, so it can take a beating. However, finding child-resistant silicone dab containers is much more challenging than finding plastic or glass child resistant jars or CR mylar bags.
No matter what your cannabis product, child resistance will play a vital role in your packaging decision. It’s arguably the most important aspect of state compliance. Material plays a direct role in not only the effectiveness of a packaging type’s child resistance but also its suitability for your product. Knowing which materials compliment your product is integral to finding the perfect cannabis packaging that will also meet the strictest of state-enforced child-resistance regulations.