Cannabis was first legalized medically in California in 1994, and now, in 2019 roughly 13% of Californians consume cannabis in some form or another. That’s a whopping 5,070,000 people! There are currently 400+ licensed dispensaries in California. The industry raises about $109 million in annual tax revenue for California; basically, if you want to enter the legal cannabis industry, now’s the time to do it. But first, you need the proper cannabis package design strategy.

Your branding, messaging, voicing, and packaging are what will set you apart from the crowd of competitors. And you need to do it the right way, as there are a ton of legal restrictions on how to present your product. Here are some steps on how to get started with unique cannabis package design for your unique product:

1. Legal and Compliance Items to Consider

Wherever you intend to market your product, be sure that your branding and packaging (and overall cannabis marketing strategy) are legal and fully-compliant. Each area will have different rules regarding how cannabis products can be packaged and marketed. Differences in packaging regulations can even boil down to the particular city, or even certain zoned areas within one city.

However, across the board, there are certain branding and packaging compliance restrictions you’ll want to watch out for when crafting a custom cannabis packaging strategy, including:

Testing Information:

Make sure your packaging includes pertinent information gleaned from testing results. This includes THC content, CBD content, any terpene information, and test results regarding product purity and potency.

Proper Dosage Info:

Your product’s packaging needs to be done in a way that ensures that the product is properly dosed. For instance, in the state of California, edibles must be individually packaged in doses of 10mg THC, for a total of 100mg THC for the entire package. Details like these may vary by region.

Appealing to Children:

It’s safe to say that by now, most state laws will not allow cannabis packaging to appeal to children. This means, stay away from imagery that looks like cartoons, animals, toys, or other things that might attract the attention of children and minors.

So be careful when you start. Wherever you intend to set up your market, make sure that your cannabis packaging is fully compliant.

On the bright side, you’re about to enter an exciting industry that figures to be one of the country’s economic booms. Much like the recent craft brewing revolution, all it takes to succeed will be a combination of this magic elixir: Top-quality products, responsive customer service; savvy cannabis packaging, creativity and innovation, and blanketing all this, a strict adherence to laws (these exist to ensure the safety of recreational consumers and medical patients).

And, of course, a healthy dose of good fortune.

2. Creating an Overall Branding Strategy

A cohesive company branding strategy is key to developing an effective cannabis package design strategy.

  • Prepare a comprehensive branding and packaging plan
  • Create a budget for packaging, marketing, and advertising expenses
  • Study your target market, including top competitors and potential partners
  • Identify your company’s mission, origin, and brand story (for help with this, check out 4Blooms’ APEX Branding Workshop, where we flesh out your mission and origin story)
  • Master your target area’s packaging compliance laws and regulations
  • Develop an in-depth marketing and advertising campaign that showcases your branding

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3. Develop a Cannabis Packaging Design Strategy

Here are some broad pointers on how to start on your own cannabis package design strategy that rocks:

  • Identify your target audience: Configure your packaging so it is marketable to groups, not just individuals
  • Drill down to the details: Make your cannabis branding shine above the rest
  • Become packaging trend experts: Learn every possible aspect about your product, and what your customers are looking for in a brand design
  • Determine your ideal persona: Who is your ideal buyer? What do they want? How will your cannabis package design appeal to them?
  • Keep it consistent: Your product’s messaging should be consistent throughout all products, so your customers can readily identify you and pick you out from the shelves
  • Push through many channels: Promote your brand across as many channels as possible; this includes social media, YouTube, cannabis listings, dispensary menus, and others. In-person efforts include cannabis events, trade shows, and influencer marketing efforts.
  • Market to Adults Only: Avoid any names, design or graphics that seem to target those under 21.

4. Make All Efforts to Maintain a Respectful, Lawful Operation

Lastly — we already said this, and it can’t be reiterated enough — be sure you’re taking all steps to protect yourself and your company by remaining compliant to branding and packaging laws. In the summer of 2018, we witnessed firsthand — many San Diego brands had to throw their products out because they were no longer compliant with a change in laws.

  • DO: Carry only high-quality, independently-tested cannabis products
  • DO: Ensure that your product is truthful and honest in its labeling
  • DO: Keep 10 steps ahead by researching potential changes in packaging laws
  • DO: Make sure your branding and packaging does not infringe on other companies
  • DO: Stay consistent if you’re thinking about rebranding

This is indeed an exciting opportunity to be entering into one of the most promising industries of our time. This year and beyond will bring about major changes for the industry as legal cannabis continues to grow across the country.

Don’t get left behind without a comprehensive cannabis package design campaign in place. Get in touch with us at 4Blooms about your cannabis packaging project to get started on your own branding journey.