Massachusetts State Governing Body Information
2019 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update
The cannabis industry in Massachusetts is governed by the Cannabis Control Commission.
Common names for marijuana in Massachusetts are cannabis, marijuana, or marihuana
Marketing of Packages and Labels
- Establishments are able to use brand logos on labels and signage
- Medical symbols, marijuana images, marijuana-related paraphernalia and everyday terms used in reference to marijuana are prohibited
- Displays holding marijuana must be transparent
- Marketing and material used for advertising must not jeopardize public health or safety
- If a marijuana store has a public display or public stall, the establishment must clearly and prominently display a sign that says “please consume responsibility”. The sign must also state two (2) of the following 5 statements at a minimum:
- (1) “this product may cause impairment and may be habit forming”
- (2) “ marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug”
- (3) “ there may be health risks associated with consumption of this product”
- (4) “for use only by adults 21 years of age. Keep out of the reach of children”
- (5) “ marijuana should not be used by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding”
More Branding Guidelines
If you are thinking of advertising or branding your product to the public, you must also include the following statement (pay close attention to the capitalized letters):
“This product has not been analyzed or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)”
2018 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update
This is a draft of the guidelines for Adult Use of Marijuana, currently under review to prepared Massachusetts for the anticipated July 1, 2018 recreational use launch:
(F) Packaging of Marijuana and Marijuana Products
1. Child Resistant Packaging. Licensees licensed subject to 935 CMR 500.050
(E) shall ensure that all marijuana and marijuana products, other than those offered at wholesale by a marijuana cultivator, that are provided for sale to consumers by a licensee shall be sold in child resistant packaging. To be in compliance with this provision, licensees shall ensure:
a. That to the extent it is not unreasonably impracticable for the specific type of product, marijuana products are packaged in containers that are (i) opaque or plain in design; (ii) resealable for any marijuana product intended for more than a single use or containing multiple servings; and (iii) certified by a qualified third-party child-resistant packaging testing firm that the packaging is in compliance with the most recent poison prevention packaging regulations of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as included at 16 C.F.R. 1700; or
b. That where compliance with the requirements of child resistant packaging is deemed to be unreasonably impracticable, marijuana products shall be placed in an exit package that is (i) capable of being resealed and made child resistant again after it has been opened; (ii) includes the following statement, including capitalization, in at least 10-point Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial font: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN; and (iii) is certified by a qualified third party child-resistant packaging testing firm that the packaging is in compliance with the most recent poison prevention packaging regulations of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety commission as included at 16 C.F.R. 1700.
2. Limits on Packaging Design.
Packaging for marijuana or Marijuana Products sold or displayed for consumers, including any label or imprint affixed to any packaging containing marijuana and Marijuana Products or any exit packages, shall not be attractive minors. Packaging is explicitly prohibited from:
a. Using bright colors, defined as colors that are “neon” in appearance;
b. Imitating or having a semblance to any existing branded consumer products, including foods and beverages, that do not contain marijuana;
c. Featuring cartoons;
d. Featuring a design, brand or name that resembles a non-cannabis consumer product of the type that is typically marketed to minors;
e. Featuring symbols or celebrities that are commonly used to market products to minors;
f. Featuring images of minors; or
g. Featuring words that refer to products that are commonly associated with minors or marketed by minors.
3. Packaging of Multiple Servings.
a. Packaging for marijuana products sold or displayed for consumers in multiple servings shall include the following statement on the exterior of the package in a printed font that is no smaller than 10-point Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial, including capitalization: “INCLUDES MULTIPLE SERVINGS.”
b. Packaging for marijuana products in solid form sold or displayed for consumers in multiple servings shall allow a consumer to easily perform the division into single servings
i. Edible Marijuana Products in a solid form shall be easily and permanently scored to identify individual servings.
ii. Notwithstanding clause (i) of this paragraph, where a product is unable because of its form to be easily and permanently scored to identify individual servings, the product shall be packaged in a single serving size. The determination of whether a product is able to be easily and permanently scored shall be decided by the commission consistent with sub-regulatory guidelines established by the Commission and provided to licensees.
c. Packaging for marijuana product beverages shall be packages solely in a single serving size. Multiple serving marijuana product beverages are strictly prohibited for sale.
4. Each single serving of an Edible MIP contained in a multiple-serving package shall be marked, stamped or otherwise imprinted with a symbol or easily recognizable
mark issued by the Commission that indicates that the single serving is a Marijuana Product.
5. Serving size shall be determined by the processor but in no instance shall an individual serving size of any MARIJUANA PRODUCT contain more than five (5)
milligrams of delta-nine-tetrahydrocannabinol (∆9-THC).
(G) Packaging and Labeling Pre-Approval.
Prior to a Marijuana Product being sold at a Marijuana Establishment, a licensee or license applicant may submit an application, in a form and manner determined by the Commission, for packaging and label approval to the Commission. The Commission may charge a fee for packaging and labeling pre-approval. The Commission shall issue guidelines on the pre-approval review process, provided, however, that the packaging and labeling pre-approval process shall in no way substitute for compliance with the regulations set forth in 935 CMR 500.105(D)-(F).
2017 Marijuana Packaging Laws Update
Medical marijuana in Massachusetts is well regulated, even down to the cannabis labeling and packaging guidelines. For packaging, they are stricter than other states in that they want the packages themselves to be tamper-evident, opaque, and child-resistant. As the state has only legalized cannabis for medical use, packages must be plain and not have any logos or colors that make them look like candies or other non-cannabis products.
Labeling regulations are similarly complicated, in that they require information about the patient and the registration number and contact information of the grower or manufacturer. Labels also require the usual information such as ingredients, THC levels, and government required warnings. Read on for the specific texts required by Massachusetts law.
“(E) Packaging and Labeling
(1) Marijuana shall be packaged in plain, opaque, tamper-proof, and child-proof containers without depictions of the product, cartoons, or images other than the RMD’s logo. Edible MIPs shall not bear a reasonable resemblance to any product available for consumption as a commercially available candy.
(2) Labeling of Marijuana (Excluding MIPs). The RMD shall place a legible, firmly affixed label on which the wording is no less than 1/16 inch in size on each package of marijuana that it prepares for dispensing, containing at a minimum the following information:
(a) The registered qualifying patient’s name;
(b) The name and registration number of the RMD that produced the marijuana, together with the RMD’s telephone number and mailing address, and website information, if any;
(c) The quantity of usable marijuana contained within the package;
(d) The date that the RMD packaged the contents;
(e) A batch number, sequential serial number, and barcode when used, to identify the batch associated with manufacturing and processing;
(f) The cannabinoid profile of the marijuana contained within the package, including THC level;
(g) A statement that the product has been tested for contaminants, that there were no adverse findings, and the date of testing in accordance with 105 CMR 725.105(C)(2); and
(h) This statement, including capitalization: “This product has not been analyzed or approved by the FDA. There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Do not drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN.”
(3) Labeling of MIPs. The RMD shall place a legible, firmly affixed label on which the wording is no less than 1/16 inch in size on each MIP that it prepares for dispensing, containing at a minimum the following information:
(a) The registered qualifying patient’s name;
(b) The name and registration number of the RMD that produced the MIP, together with the RMD’s telephone number and mailing address, and website information, if any;
(c) The name of the product;
(d) The quantity of usable marijuana contained within the product as measured in ounces;
(e) A list of ingredients, including the cannabinoid profile of the marijuana contained within the product, including the THC level;
(f) The date of product creation and the recommended “use by” or expiration date;
(g) A batch number, sequential serial number, and barcode when used, to identify the batch associated with manufacturing and processing;
(h) Directions for use of the product if relevant;
(i) A statement that the product has been tested for contaminants, that there were no adverse findings, and the date of testing in accordance with 105 CMR 725.105(C)(2);
(j) A warning if nuts or other known allergens are contained in the product; and
(k) This statement, including capitalization: “This product has not been analyzed or approved by the FDA. There is limited information on the side effects of using this product, and there may be associated health risks. Do not drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product. KEEP THIS PRODUCT AWAY FROM CHILDREN.”
This text was quoted from the Implementation of an Act for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana, by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.