Packaging and Labeling Your Cannabis Products: Best Practices and Pitfalls (in the U.S. and Canada)

10:40 - 11:20, Osgoode Ballroom East
Amanda Conley, Eileen McMahon, Shabnam Malek

Presentation #1

As a cannabis business professional in today’s industry, you cannot underestimate the importance of compliance. Manufacturers and distributors of infused products in particular face significant challenges navigating the often inconsistent patchwork of packaging and labeling laws instituted by states and local municipalities. And federal agencies are paying attention, too. Cannabis companies have received warning letters from FDA officials for making unapproved health claims about the benefits of CBD, and for misrepresenting the total cannabinoid content in their products. The FDA has even organized a cannabis task force to address the growing unregulated cannabis market.

This presentation will help attendees understand the role of federal, state, and local labeling laws in regulating their infused products. It will provide guidance and best practices based on lessons learned in California, Colorado, Washington, and elsewhere. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to use compliance as a value differentiator for their business, and how to protect consumers with clear and unambiguous labels.

Presentation #2

With multiple competitors vying for a limited consumer base and hundreds of prospective cannabis suppliers seeking a license from regulators, brand value is more important than ever to commercial success in the Canadian medical cannabis industry. Omissions or misinformation on the labels and packages of finished cannabis products will risk attracting regulatory scrutiny, enforcement and erode consumer confidence. This presentation will demystify the requirements for labelling and packaging for cannabis products to maximize compliance, maximize goodwill associated with brandingand minimize reputational risk in this heavily scrutinized industry.  Cannabis entrepreneurs and seasoned operators alike will leave with a clear understanding of what information must be included on their label,  how these products must be packaged and how to avoid common pitfalls. The government continues to break ground on the legalization of cannabis and the labelling and packaging of cannabis for recreational use will likely be informed by the current standards and requirements for regulated products. We offer our insights into the ways in which labelling for the medical and recreational market are likely to differ, which may be helpful to those capitalizing on the emergence of a legal cannabis market.