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New York Cannabis Packaging Regulations: A Comprehensive Guide and Checklist

As the cannabis industry continues to grow in New York State, it's crucial for designers and producers to understand and comply with the New York cannabis packaging regulations. This comprehensive guide provides an overview of the New York Cannabis Packaging and Marketing Regulations, including a checklist to help you create compliant packaging. Lettuce Print specializes in packaging for cannabis in New York. We are called "Lettuce" Print...

New York Cannabis Packaging Requirements

The New York State Cannabis Control Board (CCB) governs the cannabis packaging regulations in the state. Businesses dealing with adult-use, medical, and hemp cannabis products must adhere to the guidelines set by the Office of Cannabis Management. The Packaging, Labeling, and Marketing/Advertising Guidance document provides the most up-to-date and detailed information about the requirements.

New York Adult-Use and Medical Cannabis Packaging Regulations

The Adult-Use Cannabis Laws and Regulations and Medical Cannabis Laws and Regulations provide specific packaging guidelines for cannabis products sold in New York State. Some key regulations include:

1. Packaging must be child-resistant, tamper-evident, and resealable if it contains multiple servings.

2. Packaging must not imitate any other product, be appealing to minors or include misleading information.

3. Labels must contain specific information, such as a cannabinoid profile, the product's net weight, and a warning statement.

Hemp Cannabis Packaging Regulations

Similar to other cannabis products, hemp packaging regulations in New York are also outlined in the Hemp Cannabis Laws and Regulations. The requirements for hemp packaging are quite similar to adult-use and medical cannabis packaging regulations.

Environmentally Friendly Cannabis Packaging

The Cannabis Energy and Environmental Impact guidelines encourage businesses to adopt sustainable and eco-friendly cannabis packaging practices. By choosing environmentally friendly packaging materials and designs, businesses can contribute to a greener future.

Cannabis Marketing and Advertising Guidelines

It's essential to follow the cannabis marketing regulations outlined by New York State. In summary, adult-use marketing and advertising must not jeopardize public health or safety, make false or misleading claims, or be attractive to individuals under 21 years old. Advertisements must include the licensee's name and license number, warnings, and information such as the New York State HOPEline details. There are additional requirements and prohibitions for marketing and advertising, such as not targeting or being attractive to individuals under 21, not making health claims, not misrepresenting the product, and not promoting overconsumption or product potency. Format-specific requirements apply to online advertisements, handbills, signs, apparel, mascots, and events. Licensees are responsible for ensuring compliance with all packaging and labeling & marketing and advertising rules when entering into agreements involving their intellectual property.

Custom Cannabis Packaging Solutions

For businesses looking for custom cannabis packaging solutions, companies like Lettuce Print offer a variety of packaging options and design services tailored to meet the New York cannabis packaging requirements. Use the checklist below to ensure you follow the packaging requirements. As New York Cannabis regulations are constantly changing, this list may update frequently. We've Included required Regulations with an asterisk* and some tips we've learned from years of designing cannabis packaging in NYC.

Checklist for Compliant Cannabis Packaging in New York

To help you create compliant marijuana packaging in NY, here's a detailed checklist that includes all necessary information from the New York State Cannabis Packaging Regulations as well as some Lettuce Print design tips:

1. Ensure packaging is child-resistant, tamper-evident, and resealable (if applicable) to prevent unauthorized access and maintain product integrity.*

2. Make sure the packaging is opaque or designed in such a way that the cannabis product is not degraded by outside forces.*

3. Avoid designs that imitate other products, appeal to minors, or are easily confused with non-cannabis consumer products.*

4. Refrain from using any images or characters that could be appealing to minors, including cartoons and mascots.*

5. Packaging must not include any false or misleading statements or any health claims.*

6. Include a version of the universal cannabis symbol, as designated by the New York State Office of Cannabis Management, on the packaging. This can be found for designers here. The universal symbol has three versions:*

Universal Cannabis symbol for New York State

7. Incorporate a "For use by adults 21 years of age or older" or "For use only by certified patients" statement, depending on the product type.*

8. Include all health warnings:*

  • “This product contains cannabis and THC.”

  • “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND PETS. For use only by persons 21 years and older” (NOTE: this warning must include the capital letters as indicated)

  • “Warning: Do not use if pregnant or nursing”

  • “Poison Center 1-800-222-1222”

  • For cannabis products intended to be smoked, inhaled, or vaporized: “Warning: Smoking or vaping is hazardous to health”

  • For cannabis products intended to be ingested orally: “Warning: Effects of this product may be delayed by 4 or more hours”

  • For all topical products: “Warning: For topical use only. Do not eat or smoke”

The following warnings should be rotated:

  • “Cannabis can be addictive."

  • “Cannabis can impair concentration and coordination. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of cannabis.”

  • “There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product.”

These warnings must be printed in the English language in Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, or Helvetica font as seen in Appendix A. Text must be no smaller than size 6 font, bolded, legible, unobscured, and visible to the customer.

9. For products containing more than one serving, include a "This product contains multiple servings" statement, along with clear demarcations or individual packaging for each serving.*

10. List the product's cannabinoid profile, including THC and CBD content, in milligrams per package and per serving (if applicable).*

11. Display the product's net weight or volume.*

12. Provide the name and contact information of the licensed cannabis producer and/or distributor.*

13. Include a unique batch or lot number for traceability purposes.*

14. Display the date of manufacture and/or packaging, as well as an expiration or "best by" date.*

15. Specify any allergen warnings or potential cross-contamination risks (e.g., "This product may contain traces of nuts").*

16. Include instructions for use and any necessary instructions regarding proper storage and handling.*

17. Provide a list of ingredients, if applicable, in descending order by weight or volume.*

18. For cannabis flower products, include the strain or cultivar name.

19. For medical cannabis products, include the New York State prescription symbol, if required.

20. List any terpenes found in the product, if applicable.*

21. For edible cannabis products, you must include the total number of servings per package and the serving size in weight or volume.*

22. Highlight any potential interactions with other substances or medications that consumers should be aware of.

23. If the product has any specific temperature or humidity requirements for storage, clearly indicate them on the packaging.

24. If the product is gluten-free, vegan, or organic, make sure to include the appropriate certifications or symbols on the packaging.*

25. Include the method of extraction or production method used for cannabis concentrates, such as CO2 extraction, ethanol extraction, or solventless methods.*

26. For topical cannabis products, provide clear application instructions and the intended area of use.*

27. For cannabis-infused products with varying potencies or effects, provide a clear description of the expected experience (e.g., energizing, relaxing, or sleep-inducing).

28. Clearly indicate if the cannabis product is intended for daytime or nighttime use.

29. List any potential side effects that consumers should be aware of, such as dizziness, drowsiness, or impaired coordination.

30. For cannabis products with specific dietary restrictions, include a "Processed in a facility that also processes [allergen]" statement, if applicable.*

31. Once the product has been tested by a third-party laboratory for safety and potency, include a QR code to a website link that gives the consumer access to the full test results.*

32. Don’t use colors over 60% Saturation.*

Example colors below 60% saturation:

New York Cannabis Packaging color regulations

33. Consider environmentally friendly packaging materials and designs to minimize the environmental impact. Plastic Packaging may be required to have 25% recycled content.

34. Consider using fonts and font sizes that are easy to read and accessible to a wide range of consumers, including those with visual impairments.

35. Include a brief description of the product type (e.g., flower, concentrate, edible) to help consumers understand the nature of the product.

36. When designing the label, ensure that it is easy to update with minor changes, such as batch numbers or cannabinoid content, to help streamline the process for future production runs.

37. If the cannabis product is produced using any unique or innovative methods, consider highlighting this information on the packaging to help differentiate it in the marketplace.

38. Maintain a consistent brand identity across all product lines to create a cohesive customer experience and build brand recognition. Lettuce Print can help with your packaging design!

By following this comprehensive checklist, designers, and producers can ensure their cannabis packaging is compliant with New York's strict regulations while prioritizing consumer safety, education, and transparency. Keep updated on any changes to New York State Cannabis Packaging Regulations, as the industry is continuously evolving and regulations may be subject to change. Due to this ever-changing cannabis regulation landscape, we may have missed a point or two and some may be outdated. Let us know what you found useful and if there are any other points we should include.

Following the New York cannabis packaging regulations can be difficult. We hope this guide helps, designers and producers, ensure the legality and safety of their product’s packaging. This guide, along with the provided checklist will help you navigate the complexities of creating compliant cannabis packaging in New York State.

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