Cannabis Packaging — A New Market for Paperboard

Published on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 4:00 PM GMT

The upcoming legalization of cannabis use throughout the country of Canada has opened a new opportunity for paperboard businesses: both for product development and packaging for legal marijuana products. However, both producers and packaging suppliers have to abide by a few rules.

Consumers may demand new products (e.g. oils like CBD and edibles). Aside from concerns over new regulations regarding cultivation, processing, and licensing, cannabis producers also have to follow rules for product packaging.

The status of cannabis in Canada has come a long way since prohibition of the drug was rendered unconstitutional in 2000. The amendment of medical cannabis regulations with the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) was passed in 2016, and the impending legalization of marijuana under the Cannabis Act is scheduled to take effect on October 17, 2018. As a result, cannabis producers may experience a massive increase in business, and need packaging to ship their products.

Proposed Packaging Regulations


In March 2018, Health Canada released the “Proposed Approach to the Regulation of Cannabis” which stipulates that packaging for cannabis products must include:

the standardized cannabis symbol

health warning message

product information (including potency)

The packaging must also:

be tamper-evident

be child resistant

be either opaque or translucent

be “plain”

single, uniform colour

no coating, cut-outs, or embossing

one brand element (logo)

single display of brand name

The draft also highlights that the cannabis packaging should keep the product dry and free from contamination. While there are no rules concerning both inner and outer packaging, each package is required to display the required labels. For medical cannabis, products can be packaged according to the requirements set by the ACMPR for six months following the commencement of the proposed Cannabis Act.

Health Canada faced criticism for its proposed restrictions on cannabis packaging, prompting licensed producers to devise their own recommendations for cannabis marketing guidelines. Despite the stringent design requirements, there are no proposed restrictions for shape, size, or material.

Paperboard Solutions for Cannabis Packaging

Paperboard materials (e.g. corrugated and non-corrugated boxes) are cost-efficient, durable, and versatile packaging options. Cartons and boxes are a staple for storing and shipping merchandise.

Producers of legal marijuana/cannabis products may need some guidance with creating designs for shipping. With the assistance of an experienced cardboard and paperboard producer, they can provide their clients with reliable packaging.

Cardboard offers products a stable cushion during handling and transport. It also protects contents from moisture — a definite requirement for cannabis products. The versatility of this material allows packaging to be folded into a variety of shapes to suit any merchandise. This type of packaging is affordable and does not require intensive labour to assemble or manufacture. Made from recycled and recyclable materials, corrugated cardboard and chipboard will reduce the demand on natural resources, providing an eco-friendly option.

In addition to its advantages as packaging material, paperboard provides an effective means for the treatment and disposal of excess cannabis waste.

With the growth of the cannabis industry in Canada, paperboard providers are presented with the opportunity to meet the demands of a promising, lucrative market.

As one of the leading providers of paperboard and chipboard in Toronto and throughout Canada, Hammond Paper Company is your source for cardboard packaging solutions.  Contact us at 1-877-750-CHIP (2447) or email us at