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child resistant cannabis packaging

Elevate Your Brand with Child-Resistant Packaging

Navigating the world of cannabis compliance can be daunting especially for child proof marijuana containers and child-proof cannabis packaging. One misstep and a company could find themselves with fines, expensive re-packaging or time (and money) consuming legal issues — not to mention the cost to the environment. Thankfully, ancillary companies specializing in compliant products and packaging mitigate the stress and complexity of getting to the next step. Let’s discuss one popular hurdle for cannabis companies, eco-friendly child-resistant packaging. 

What are the laws regarding child-proof cannabis packaging?

In the state of California, child-proof cannabis packaging must be opaque, which means that the container holding the product, or the exit packaging (what you leave the dispensary with), cannot be see-through to reveal what’s inside the package. The design of the label cannot contain graphics aimed at children, nor can it imitate any package used for products typically marketed to children. 

Child proof marijuana containers must contain specific language, including:

 

  • “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND ANIMALS” in bold print.
  • “FOR MEDICAL USE ONLY.”
  • “THE INTOXICATING EFFECTS OF THIS PRODUCT MAY BE DELAYED BY UP TO TWO HOURS.”
  • “THIS PRODUCT MAY IMPAIR THE ABILITY TO DRIVE OR OPERATE MACHINERY. PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION.”

Along with a list of other required information regarding allergens, active ingredients (in mg -including THC, CBD and other cannabinoids), that it contains medical cannabis, cultivation and manufacturing date and location, as well as info regarding lab results.

More importantly, the package needs to be designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five years old to open or gain access to the product within a reasonable amount of time. The challenging task is that it can’t be difficult for adults to open. For some able-bodied individuals, opening child-resistant packaging may be simple, but for some who struggle with hand mobility or asserting pressure to an object, opening this type of packaging may be very difficult. These guidelines fall under the Child Safety Standard ASTM D3475 guidelines, which have been determined and defined by the American Standard of Testing and Materials under the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970. 


What are the “Child Safety Standard ASTM D3475” and “Protocol 16 CFR 1700.20”?

To ensure your child-resistant packaging meets the standards determined by the Child Safety Standard ASTM D3475, it must go through a testing process defined as Protocol 16 C.F.R. §1700.20. This process lays out the specifics for testing the child-resistant nature of the product with children of multiple ages.

In these tests, the child-proof cannabis packaging must be tested with groups of 50 children (given parental consent) up to 4 times (for a total of 200 children). The children selected should have no obvious or overt physical or mental handicap, illness or injury. The difference between the number of boys and the number of girls in each age range cannot exceed 10% of the number of children in that range. The number of children in each age range are as follows:

 

  • 30% percent of the children in each group should be age 42-44 months (roughly 3.5 years old)
  • 40% of the children in each group should be age 45-48 months (3.75 years to 4 years old)
  • 30% of the children in each group should be age 49-51 months (4 years old to 4.25 years old)

The children, in groups of two, are asked to open the package in a familiar and comfortable location, but are not encouraged to see it as a game — nor are they offered a reward. After 5 minutes, if the children have not opened their packages, the demonstrator will show the children how to open it and will give the children a second try after the demonstration, letting them know that they may use their teeth to try again. The children will have 5 more minutes to open their packages. To see a more detailed explanation of the testing details, the Cornell Law School provides them here

For a package that contains all of the product (not broken into units) and a child opens or gains access to its contents, it will be considered a test failure. Unit-packaging has individually packaged servings within a container that has multiple servings. If unit-packaging is being tested, it would be considered a test failure if the child opens a number of units that could produce injury or serious illness or if the child opens more than 8 individual units, whichever comes first. The amount calculated to produce illness or injury is based on a 25 lb child. 

If these tests are successful they must be sent and confirmed in order to receive a General Certificate of Conformity (GCC) and other compliance credentials under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Trustworthy manufacturers, like HISIERRA®, will offer the GCC on all of their packaging.

 

What kind of liability do businesses face regarding compliant child proof marijuana containers?

With any business, there is a risk of litigation if your child proof marijuana container fails to perform its child-resistant qualifications and is being sold to the public, or if it’s being sold without the proper certificates and other compliance credentials. Work directly with a product manufacturer that exceeds, not merely meets, current state requirements. Simply meeting existing product testing requirements may not be enough to protect your business from liability. Regular audits of your packaging and the practices of your packaging manufacturer are a good sign that you’re staying within the bounds of compliance and are protecting yourself against potential litigation. 

Your business isn’t the only one on the hook for packaging compliance. Packaging for products that contain more than one dose or one serving must be re-sealable and must remain child-proof. If a patient/consumer is pulled over and does not have their product in the proper packaging, they may be held accountable for having an unlicensed or illegal product – which may come back to be a legal nightmare. 

Can you market your product on your child-proof marijuana container? 

Companies like HISIERRA® offer custom child proof marijuana containers and designs that allow you to stay compliant with Child Safety Standard ASTM D3475, while still offering an appealing design to market your product and showcase your branding. Alongside the benefits of marketing your brand, HISIERRA® eliminates the guilt of wasteful packaging by offering custom bags made with renewable & sustainable raw materials in a clean and green LEED-certified wind-powered factory.

All HISIERRA® child-proof cannabis packaging exit bags have been tested and certified to Child Safety Standard ASTM D3475 and conform to protocol 16 CFR 1700.20 for child safety and cannabis compliance everywhere.

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