• DC Crew

Something Stinks With Cali’s New Cannabis Packaging Laws

As another consequence of Prop 64 passing in California in 2016, by July 1st of this year all compliant dispensaries must adhere to strict new packaging regulations that are anything but consumer friendly.



No longer will shops be able to keep large jars full of chunky nugs behind the counter, allowing the customer to get a good look – and a good whiff – of the product before making a purchase decision. Instead, nearly all products will need to enter the shop pre-sealed in childproof tamper-resistant packaging.


This unappealing appearance is detrimental to all aspects of sales as it just looks terrible and it does not allow the consumer to use the main criteria that we have all traditionally used when picking a strain – visual inspection and aromatic inspection.


So if a dispensary has five different OG strains on the menu, and you prefer your OG to have a lemon/pine terp profile instead of an earthy/nutty one, you’re screwed. You will not know until you get home if that nug smells like heaven or like hay.


It gets worse.


So virtually everything is pre-packaged in a childproof container or bag, then it must be placed in another larger childproof bag commonly referred to as an “exit bag”.


You can reuse your exit bags at most places, but if you forget it at home or in the car (like we do all the time with those damn grocery store bags), then you have to pay for a new one at checkout.


Taxes, exit bags…all this adds up to money that you are spending at the weed shop but not getting any weed for.



Now, how many of you actually keep your weed in those cramped little childproof ziplock bags they mercilessly stuff your buds into? Nobody does! You put your herb in a stash jar (or in your lungs) and you trash that wasteful packaging.


Lester Black at Emerald Report caught up to cannabis activist Elise McRoberts who is appalled at what she is seeing happen under Prop 64. Says McRoberts, “We in California did all of this work to ban single-use plastic bags, and then they are passing legislating that requires all of these brands to put these products in child proof packaging…”


The individually packaged grams, 8ths, quads, and up lead to much more space-consuming and bulky shipments which means it takes more trucks more trips to move the same amount of weed from Point A to Point B. That is more gas, more road maintenance, more pollution – less efficiency.


  • The hard plastic used for childproof bags and containers is non-biodegradable

  • The pre-sealed bags and jars do not allow customers to properly inspect before purchase

  • Plastic is not an ideal material for properly curing cannabis


California joins Washington as the only two states that have legalized the recreational use of weed that have such ridiculous demands when it comes to packaging – but even Washington does not require the double layer of childproof protection.


It really is ironic considering that Cali is known for its tree-hugging hippies and alleged environmentalists, and in certain parts of Washington you can get fined for not composting or recycling, but these two states are loading up landfills with preventable plastic pot packaging.


The good news is, since Prop 64 has proven to be flawed experts predict that many of those flaws will be addressed in the coming year, hopefully with sensible revisions to follow. With California raking in millions in tax revenue from legal weed, you can only imagine how much wasteful packaging is piling up.

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