Marijuana operators see temporary reprieve from proposed packaging rules
On Friday, Missouri cannabis regulators released two 111-page documents. One document establishes the emergency rules that consumers, patients, and operators will be bound by for the bulk of the year; the other document defines proposed rules – the language that Missouri regulators hope to finalize as permanent for the state’s marijuana program.
One of the most hotly contested points in the draft rules was language that would call for heavy restrictions on packaging for marijuana and marijuana products in the state.
With the release of the emergency rules, Missouri operators find some solace in the fact that those restrictions have been removed. With the removal of language dictating that packaging only uses a single color and restricts the size of logos on packaging and exit bags, current operators will be able to continue using current packaging and use existing supplies, without any interruption or additional changes needed at this time.
However, in the proposed rules, the increased restrictions on colors and logo size still remain.
The emergency rules are set to expire on August 1, 2023.
Lisa Cox, Communications Director at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services told Greenway, “The draft packaging regulations respond to the language in Article XIV that requires the Department to address public health and appeal to children in packaging and labeling regulations. Limitations on colors and graphics are common strategies for ensuring packaging is not appealing to children and that the focus of packaging remains on the public health information, such as warnings and testing results. Uniform packaging is also a key practice used to protect public health and to ensure consistent and fair application of regulations.”
Read the proposed packaging and labeling rules below.
19 CSR100-1.120 Packaging, Labeling, and Product Design
(1) All marijuana product shall be produced, packaged, and labeled in a manner that protects public health and does not appeal to children.
(A) No marijuana product may be manufactured, packaged, or labeled in a false or misleading manner, such as by inaccurately representing product ingredients.
(B) Product and Packaging Design.
1. No marijuana product or packaging may be designed using the shape or any part of the shape of a human, animal, or fruit, including realistic, artistic, caricature, or cartoon renderings.
2. No marijuana product or packaging may be designed in such a way as to cause confusion between a marijuana product and any product not containing marijuana, such as where products or packaging are visually similar to any commercially similar product that does not contain marijuana.
3. All marijuana product packaging shall be resealable, opaque, and certified as child resistant. Where marijuana product is packaged in a series of containers, the container closest to the product, excluding methods of administration or wrappers, must be compliant with this requirement.
4. All marijuana product packaging shall be constructed from FDA-approved food contact substances. Where marijuana product is packaged in a series of containers, the container closest to the product, including methods of administration or wrappers, must be compliant with this requirement.
5. All marijuana product packaging, including exit packaging, may only utilize—
A. a single color;
B. a product name;
C. text indicating whether the product is sativa, indica, or a hybrid; and
D. up to two (2) logos or symbols of a different color or colors, whether images or text, including brand logos, provided the logos or symbols are no larger than two (2) inches in length and two inches in height.
1. The front of all containers, wrappers, packages, and methods of
administration, except the paper for prerolls, that contain marijuana product shall be clearly and conspicuously labeled with “Marijuana” printed at least as large as any other words used on the containers, methods of administration, wrappers, and packages, as well as a prominently displayed universal symbol indicating the product contains marijuana that consists of the following:
A. A diamond containing the letters “THC”; and
B. The number of milligrams of THC in the package.
2. The marijuana product container closest to the product shall bear a label displaying only the following information, in the following order, from top to bottom
and left to right:
A. All active and other ingredients, which shall not include groupings of ingredients that obscure the actual ingredients, such as “natural flavors” or “botannically derived terpenes”;
B. Servings or doses per package;
C. A “best if used by” date;
D. The license number of the licensed entity from which the final marijuana product originated;
E. The license number(s) of the licensee that packaged the product, if different from the licensed entity from which the final marijuana product originated;
F. The testing lab where the marijuana product passed required testing;
G. The statewide track and trace system tag number associated with the final testing results for the product;
H. The exact total weight of the marijuana included in the package;
(I) For dried, unprocessed marijuana, concentrates, prerolls, and infused prerolls, weight shall be listed in grams.
(II) For infused products other than infused prerolls, weight shall be listed by milligrams of delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol.
I. The exact delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, tetrahydrocannabinol acid, cannabidiol, cannabidiol acid, cannabinol, tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabidivarin, and delta 8 tetrahydrocannabinol per serving/dose, listed in milligrams;
J. The following warning: “Keep out of reach of children”; and
K. Marijuana product packaging may include health warnings including side effects and behavioral effects of usage of any particular product.
3. Marijuana product packaging may not contain any information other than that specifically required by this subsection.
(2) Prior to use, all marijuana product designs and packaging designs must be submitted to the department for review of compliance with sections (1)(B) and (C) of this rule and, once approved, will receive an approval number that must be displayed on the marijuana product packaging.
(3) All marijuana product shall be compliantly packaged and labeled by the cultivation, manufacturing, or microbusiness wholesale facility providing the final marijuana product for sale except where cultivation or microbusiness wholesale facilities are providing dried, unprocessed marijuana to dispensaries for use in creating prerolls or for dispensing directly to consumers or qualifying patients in custom amounts. In such a case, the dispensary facility is responsible for ensuring the product is compliantly packaged and labeled prior to sale.
(4) Any violation of this subsection shall be punishable by an appropriate and proportional department sanction, up to and including an administrative penalty of five thousand ($5000) dollars for each product/packaging category, identified by approval number, in which a requirement is violated.