Popularity of Cannabis Formats Evolving, Packaging Follows Suit | Healthcare Packaging

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Dried flowers are being replaced by creams, gels, dry tea/powders and inhalers, and these products have tripled in two years. Cannabis packaging is expanding to meet this growth.

According to the PMMI Business Intelligence white paper, "

The trend of hemp is shifting from dried flowers to concentrates, edible foods and a variety of other products, which opens the door to a variety of packaging formats and materials.

In 2017, in the United States, dried flowers accounted for 50% of the entire cannabis market; by 2019, this share had fallen to 36%. On the contrary, during the same period, the market share was concentrated between 13% and 36%. Food consumption also increased from 12% to 14%. The biggest growth is the "other" category of cannabis products, which includes formats such as cream, gel, dry tea/powder, and inhalers. Due to the explosive growth of retail CBD, the number of this category has more than doubled, from 15% in 2017 to 36% in 2019, especially creams, ointments and balsams. If the FDA declares CBD legal as a food and beverage additive, the edible food sector in the cannabis market may see similar growth in the future.

The growth and diversity of these forms of hemp has also expanded the range of packaging options, as the type of packaging used is most affected by the form of hemp. For some of the largest cannabis categories, several basic styles are more popular than others.

Dried flowers are usually placed by hand in a plastic jar with a child-proof lid, whether it is spin-on or top-loaded. The style and shape of these containers vary from state to state and producer, but the most common one is made of HDPE. High-end brands of dried flowers can also be found in glass jars, polyester film bags with a child-proof zipper closure, or tin cans. Glass jars with beautiful appearance are usually also packaged in cardboard boxes. Some brands even use pre-decorated or etched jars and premium labels.

For concentrates, small cups are the preferred form of packaging. These cups are covered with lids that prevent children from entering, and are sometimes packaged in secondary packaging, such as cardboard boxes. Although plastic cups were popular in the early days of cannabis sales, many manufacturers have begun to use small glasses. In addition to cups, concentrates are usually also packaged in syringes (

Needle), the dose can be easily metered without causing confusion. Some concentrates, especially those intended for use as food and beverage additives, are packaged in small glass bottles with dropper tops. Many brands in the concentrate market also put vape cartridges in blisters, vials or pop-up containers to meet regulatory requirements.

Face creams, balsams and ointments are mainly packaged in child-proof jars made of plastic or glass, and secondly, the packaging consists of cardboard boxes. For these forms of hemp, flexible tubes have also proven to be a popular packaging style, especially in the retail environment of CBD products.

Since food covers almost all imaginable snack foods and beverages, their packaging forms are also diverse: traditional glasses, plastic cans, soft bags, aluminum bottles and other innovative packaging. For convenience and environmental considerations, as well as from the perspective of conveying more advanced aesthetic concepts to customers, the food market has grown in flexible packaging.

The medical marijuana market, which began operations in the United States in 1996 and Canada in 2001, has slightly different packaging needs. The standard push-pull amber pill bottle commonly used in the pharmaceutical industry is still a popular form of medical marijuana packaging, because brand and shelf attractiveness are no longer a problem. Although more colorful and high-quality bottle packaging have been used in the medical cannabis market, people are increasingly concerned about the overall impact of plastic bottles on the environment. As a result, many medical marijuana packagers are exploring flexible bags and bags made of environmentally friendly materials.

Push-pull blisters that originated in the pharmaceutical industry have also proven to be ready-made packaging solutions in the medical marijuana market because they have been designed to meet the requirements of child-safe packaging. Although these blisters are effective, the price per unit is also more expensive, requiring investment in machines that can produce them or the use of contract packaging machines.

Source: PMMI Business Intelligence"



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