What do you get when you cross an engineer with a medical products background and the cannabis industry?  Why, better marijuana packaging of course!  

Bill ludlow crativ packagingMeet Bill Ludlow, Co-founder and CEO of CRATIV Packaging.  I’ve had the opportunity to talk to a myriad of cannapreneuers who are doing some really cool and innovative things in the marijuana/cannabis space.  However, when I learned of Bill’s company and what he was doing I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I think of that!”  My guess is you will too.

If you’ve been to a dispensary and purchased edibles or other products my guess is a lot of times they came in a tube or circular shaped container.  Did you ever wonder why?  It actually stems back to President Richard Nixon in 1970.  That was the year that he signed into law the Poison Prevention Packaging Act in an effort to protect children from poisoning and accidental death.  The packaging at the time was predominantly bottles designed for pills (aspirin and such).  


Marijuana legalized

“The first medical marijuana initiative appeared in the city of San Francisco as Proposition P, which passed with an overwhelming 79% of the vote on Nov. 5, 1991. Proposition P called on the State of California and the California Medical Association to ‘restore hemp medical preparations to the list of available medicines in California,’ and not to penalize physicians ‘from prescribing hemp preparations for medical purposes.’”  Medical Marijuana Law, 2007

With marijuana now being legal, dispensaries had to find child proof packaging most of which were – bottles that were already tested and certified.  But, the round shapes in many cases just didn’t fit the form factor of marijuana products. Try stuffing ten chocolate chip cookies into a prescription medication bottle.  

Child-resistant packaging testing and certification.  According to CRATIV’srativ’s website, “CRATIV Packaging saves you the hassle of reading through the marijuana regulations and provides a fully compliant, child-resistant packaging product ready for consumer use.

I questioned Bill about the certification process.  Below is just a taste of what it takes for marijuana packaging to be approved as compliant.

Making sure kids can’t get in.  For marijuana packaging to become certified you have to use a 3rd party tester.  The tester selects 50 kids of different genders ages 3-5 and they’re tested in pairs so they can watch and get hints from each other.  The kids get 5 minutes to try to open the package.  If they don’t open it in the first 5 minutes the tester tells them to stop then shows them how to open the package (to simulate the kids watching their parents or an adult open it).  If neither of the kids use their teeth in the first 5 minutes the tester has to say, “You can use your teeth if you want to”has to say, “You can use your teeth if you want to.”  Makes sense given that young children love to put stuff in their mouths. The children then get another 5 minutes to try and open the package. If they don’t successfully open it in the full 10 minutes it’s a pass- 45 out of 50 kids (90%)have to pass. If only 44 total pass the test is considered a fail.

Adults get tested too.  100 adults ages 50-70 HAVE TO be able to open it within 5 minutes.  Then a 2nd sample is introduced and they have to open it within two minutes.  The test is confirming that the package can be opened repeatedly. It’s important that adults be able to access their medications, or in the case of marijuana get into their weed packaging.  

It takes several weeks to get a package certified.  Bill Ludlow believes that CRATIV is one of the most child resistant marijuana packaging products on the market.

Now that you know what it takes to get certified and why most marijuana packaging is in bottles, let’s talk about why Bill decided to use a box shape instead.  He told us- a lot of it has to do with branding.  On a tube, you don’t have as much real estate to get your message across. Rather than having to turn a tube to read it, with CRATIV the branding can be prominent on the front at one glance.  The back provides ample space for regulatory information, an you can use the inside of the lid to further brand your product.  This makes sense because as more and more competitors move into the market, marijuana product manufacturers that survive will be the ones who develop the strongest brands.

Dispensaries love them too.  From a merchandising perspective you can put a lot more product on a shelf in a stackable box than in a round tube. Not to mention, the upcycle and recycle component.  CRATIV uses recycled plastic and their marijuana packaging in handy to keep small things in.  It’s kind of like how people repurpose their Altoids mint tins.

So, if you ever wondered why a lot of marijuana packaging is in bottle form, now you know.  You also have a great alternative thanks to CRATVIV Packaging!

For more information on CRATIV Packaging please visit www.crativpackaging.com.  

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