California Cannabis Packaging and Labeling Regulations

Cannabis compliance is the main focus this summer with California cannabis packaging and labeling regulations at the forefront of all industry conversations. With the passing of Proposition 64, legalization, and roll out of emergency regulations; all eyes are on the importance of child resistant packaging, testing, labeling, and track and trace systems. All were put into place to protect the end user and of course, keep products safe.

July is a month of heavy transition for California cannabis packaging and labeling regulations. All product must be in Child Resistant Packaging (CRP) and pass all of Phase II testing requirements. What does this mean for you as a cannabis company?  It’s time for due diligence if you want to stay relevant in this new legal era.

Child Resistant Packaging

CRP parameters are set forth by the Consumer Product and Safety Commission and their website offers a list of vendors manufacturing these certified compliant containers. All packaging must be certified child resistant meaning that it has undergone rigorous testing to not allow children to open while still being accessible for seniors to open.

Compliant Packaging Checklist

  • Products must be in CRP certified packaging.
  • All products must be in tamper evident packaging.
    • The use of a seal or shrink bands are permissible for tamper evident.
  • All product that are not single servings, must be in resealable CRP packaging.
  • Edibles must be sold in opaque containers.

Label Requirements

Prior to delivery or sale at a retailer, cannabis and cannabis products need to include a unique identifier for the purposes of identifying and tracking cannabis and cannabis products. There are two panels that are needed for compliant labeling and are referred to as a the Primary and Informational panel.

Primary panel is the part of a cannabis product label that is most likely to be displayed, presented, shown, or examined under customary conditions of display for retail sale.

Informational panel is any part of the cannabis product label that is not the primary panel and that contains required labeling information.

All labels must be unobstructed and conspicuous, so the consumer can easily read the labels. The required information shall be located on the outside container or wrapper of the finished product and must have the following information, in no less that 6-point font.

Primary Panel – All Products:

  • Identity of product.
  • Universal symbol (must be in black and white).
  • Net weight or volume of the contents in the package.


Informational Panel – All Products:

  • The applicable Government Warning.
  • The CA Universal Symbol )may be no smaller than half (.5) inch by x half (.5) inch.)
  • A list of all product ingredients.
  • Instructions for use (e.g. method of consumption or application).
  • Product expiration date, use by date, or best by date (if any).
  • UID (if used), batch number.
  • Identification of the source and date of cultivation OR the date of manufacturing and packaging.

This is the applicable government warning for all cannabis products (non-flower).

This is the applicable government warning for all flower products.

Primary Panel – Manufactured Goods:

  • The THC/CBD contents for the entire contents of the package in milligrams.

Informational Panel – Manufactured Goods:

  • Licensed manufacturer name and contact phone number or web address.
  • List of all product ingredients in descending order by predominance, by weight, or by volume.

Primary Panel – Edible Goods:

  • The words “cannabis-infused” above identity of product.
  • Only generic food names may be used.

Informational Panel – Edible Goods:

  • If applicable “contains” any food allergen.
  • Artificial food colorings contained in the product.
  • The amount, in grams, of sodium, sugar, carbohydrates and total fats per serving
  • Cannot have the term “candy” or “candies.”

Testing Label Requirements:

  • THC and CBD content of package, expressed in milligrams.
  • The content if other cannabinoids or terpenes may be included if verified by the COA issued by a licensed testing lab, (e.g. terpenes)
  • Package should not say anything along the lines of “not tested to state standards,” “third party tested,” or “this product has not been tested under the Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulations Safety Act.

Information Not Allowed on Labels

  • False claims that a product was grown in a specific California county or produced from a product grown in a specific California county unless all of the cannabis used was grown in the named county.
  • The name of a county in California when the cannabis product was not grown within the named county.
  • Any information that could be deemed false or misleading (e.g. health-related statements or claims).


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