If you are an Oregon marijuana business owner, you will need to ensure compliance with not only new labeling rules, but also new packaging rules. The general rule to remember is that all marijuana items must comply with these packaging rules at retail sale to the end consumer. This rule applies to OLCC licensees immediately, and OHA registrants on and after October 1, 2016.
OLCC retailers and OHA-registered dispensaries will want to pay particular attention to the new packaging rules as they are ultimately responsible for ensuring that marijuana items leaving their businesses are properly packaged. With that said, any marijuana business that wants its product to be sold to consumers in their own packaging – without first being placed in “exit packaging” (which is explained below) – will also need to ensure that their products are properly packaged.
All packaging must be “pre-approved” by the OLCC. Both OLCC licensees and OHA registrants can pursue packaging pre-approval through the OLCC’s licensing portal (this is the same method used to obtain labeling pre-approval).
The OLCC will publish a list of pre-approved packaging. Any OLCC licensee or OHA registrant may use pre-approved packaging without first seeking permission from the OLCC. If you plan to use a pre-approved package from this list, be aware that:
- the OLCC has not yet published the list;
- once the OLCC does publish the list, there is no guarantee that the packaging you plan to use will be on the list; and
- if you plan to use pre-approved packaging, but of a different size or color than is specified on the list, you may not use that packaging without first obtaining pre-approval from the OLCC.
General Requirements for Packaging
The general rule is that packaging used in retail sales to end consumers must:
- protect marijuana items from contamination or exposure to toxic and harmful substances;
- not be attractive to minors; and
- be child-resistant.
There are three types of child-resistant packaging:
- Single Use. This packaging loses its child-resistance once opened; it may be used for usable marijuana (dried flower), single-serving edibles, single-serving topicals, single-serving concentrates, and single-serving extracts.
- Continual Use. This packaging maintains its child-resistance throughout the life of the marijuana item within; it may be used for usable marijuana, edibles, topicals, concentrates and extracts.
- Exit Packaging. This packaging can be used at the point of sale to enclose non-child resistant packaging. Use of exit packaging ensures that the sale to the end consumer complies with the new packaging rules.
For a complete list of packaging requirements and restrictions, see Oregon Administrative Rules 845-025-7000 to 845-025-7060.
Exception to the Child-Resistance Rule
Packaging does not need to be child-resistant if the product being sold is a marijuana seed or immature marijuana plant. Regardless of this exception, all packaging – including non-child resistant packaging and exit packaging – must be pre-approved by the OLCC.
An additional rule applies to all transfers of marijuana items among OLCC licensees. In short, these transfers must use shipping containers and must be labeled with a UID tag prior to transport. For a complete list of requirements and restrictions applicable to these transfers, see Oregon Administrative Rule 845-025-7700.
For more information, please visit the OLCC’s page for packaging and labeling pre-approval. There you will find links to guides, workshop presentations, and frequently asked questions. If you have further questions, please contact one of our compliance attorneys and we will be happy to assist you with your packaging or other needs.
Tune in tomorrow for information on how small packages (e.g., 5ml plastic screw top containers) can comply with the new packaging and labeling rules.