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cannabis packaging design

Packaging Cannabis Products to Stand Out

Packaging your cannabis product is an imperative part of a marketing campaign that will help ensure your cannabusiness lasts in a statured market. Years ago, cannabis was known to be distributed in plastic sandwich bags, brown bags, or prescription medicine bottles. These days, as the cannabis industry evolves, many businesses are realizing the importance of effective packaging to help build a brand and market a product. Packaging is a consumer’s first experience with a brand’s identity and as we know, first impressions can last a lifetime. This can mean love at first sight, or a total fail. According to AdAge, “64% of respondents said they will sometimes buy a product off the shelf, drawn by packaging, without prior knowledge or having researched it first.” That means that packaging is the most vital factor in the majority of all consumers’ purchases. So, what influences a consumers’ choice? Here’s a look at what makes cannabis packaging design stand out.

Eye Catching Emotion

First and most important, cannabis packaging must stand out from others and garner emotion. These two influences play a big role in consumer purchase patterns. Packaging must call out to the consumer and entice their curiosity to establish brand identity. While most brands use a variation of a cannabis leaf and Jamaican colors of red, yellow, and green, it’s very important for cannabis brands to incorporate unique visuals and memorable colors in their packaging. In fact, a CCI: Institute for Color Research study found that 92.6% of consumers rated color as the most important factor in their purchase. In addition, consumer judgement of a product was influenced by color in 62-90% of the time. Using certain colors incites different emotions- black for sophistication, and blue suggests trust. You want to incite the best feelings for which consumers can relay back to your brand’s identity.  Visuals are important as well. Font style, images, logos, their size and shape all play an important role in grabbing a consumers attention and triggering emotions. Packaging must also correlate to a brands’ entire identity. Consumers are more likely to purchase a product if its brand is conveyed across all platforms, so it’s important to be consistent.


A product’s packaging has to be effective well past the initial visual stage and throughout the products use. Therefore, design and functionality play an important role for cannabis products to not only stand out but remain memorable to a consumer. If a consumer picks a product because of superficial reasons but the product does not deliver on functionality, there’s a good chance that consumer won’t purchase the product again. In addition, if it failed to deliver, consumers will not recommend the product to a friend or family member. Packaging must thrive past peaking interest and into the stage of use. Cannabis packaging should keep the product fresh and reusable so that the product maintains its level quality. A good package design can add value to the product even before it’s used and also elevate the experience after the fact. These days, consumers are becoming more mindful of purchasing eco-friendly and sustainable packaging, so cannabis packaging should also follow this trend. Another example of good cannabis packaging is meeting regulations by targeting adults. The California Department of Public Health states that cannabis packaging, “cannot imitate packaging used for products typically marketed to children.” With tide pods turning child proof, it’s only logical that cannabis should as well.


Lastly, a cannabis product’s packaging must include all of the necessary educational information about the product including ingredients and dosage. If a cannabis product doesn’t have product information listed, there is a chance that the consumer will not utilize the product efficiently and then not enjoy their experience. An example of this is with THC dosage. If a consumer eats more than the suggested amount and has a bad experience with the product, the consumer is not likely to buy the product again. Therefore, it is essential that packaging has data explaining dosage information. According to the California Department of Public Health, “Manufactured cannabis products are required to have both THC and CBD content listed on the label. If the product doesn’t contain either of these, it still must be listed as 0 mg.” It’s important to disclose all of the ingredients of a cannabis product to maintain transparency for consumers safety and to differentiate in a saturated market.

The evolution of cannabis packaging has come a long way, and has taken on an impactful component to a brand’s marketing campaign. It’s the first impression to a consumer that hasn’t done any brand research and can influence their purchase, or even completely turn them off. Therefore, cannabusinesses must develop a strategic packaging design with consumers and their needs in mind, all while adhering to regulatory standards.


DISCLAIMER: Cannabiz Digital does not sell cannabis. This publication covers business topics surrounding legal cannabis in California and the United States. It does not provide legal or medical advice. Consult your physician, lawyer, and local laws regarding cannabis. We do our best to provide current information at the time of publishing with no guarantees to accuracy. We understand this industry changes quickly and welcome your feedback. [Send Feedback]