The global outlook for cannabis has never been better. The last month alone saw marijuana stocks soar when the American Medical Association alleged that medical marijuana could help solve the opioid crisis. As more and more governments look to cannabis for its medicinal properties, the market grows stronger by the day. And that, by default, means the cannabis packaging market will also skyrocket.
Packaging for cannabis is in high demand. Bags, containers, and boxes that guarantee a protective and sealed atmosphere are essential for maintaining the quality of cannabis. That makes it a lucrative segment that should not be underestimated. BCC Research valued the market for cannabis packaging at $656.0 million in 2021, and now anticipates it to reach as much as $1.7 billion by 2027.
Weed legalizweed is a movement spreading like wildfire
It makes sense to legalize cannabis for medical reasons – it’s been shown to soothe a range of conditions like chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, MS, and Parkinson’s – but there’s also a strong economic argument for legislation. This mutually beneficial scenario is encouraging more governments to consider relaxing their laws on cannabis.
It’s already legal in more than two-thirds of US states. If Oklahoma citizens vote to approve marijuana reform, the state will be primed to make almost half a billion in revenue from adult-use cannabis sales within the first five years, according to recent analysis. This is just one incidence of the potential value of cannabis for small-scale economies – and it’s a trend that’s catching on.
The FDA has decided to examine moving cannabis from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug designation. Currently, federal law is one of the biggest blocks for the cannabis market. The FDA’s move will encourage the rise of more cannabis-related businesses, as decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level will allow businesses to apply for traditional bank accounts.
The federal-level legalization of medical cannabis in the US will propel rapid growth in legal medical consumption. The number of cannabis cultivators in the U.S. has increased significantly in recent years, and with legislation changing at all angles, this will only increase.
Environmental considerations for cannabis packaging
While cannabis legislation has a plethora of medical and economic benefits, strict contamination and purity regulations leave a trail of plastic in the wake of market success. This is worsening an already bad environmental situation.
The regulations themselves are creating the biggest sustainability issue. Many countries and states have explicit regulations restricting the reuse of packaging and containers for cannabis, which has the unintended consequence of more packaging waste.
While quality control dictates a good degree of packaging practices, there’s another side to the story. The requirement for "seed-to-sale" traceability and compliance requires cultivators, processors, and distributors to trail the product at every phase of the production process, from seed to sale. This generates significant labeling requirements (product names, license numbers, batch or lot codes, allergens, net quantity, cannabis facts, warning statements, and state-issued THC warning logos). Keeping everything in individual one-time-use containers simplifies this laborious process.
The current regulations are increasing costs for manufacturers and putting downward pressure on prices. Low-cost solutions enter the market, and almost always, the solution is a non-recyclable product produced by a non-sustainable company. And so, a dangerous cycle is created by regulatory red tape and dubious low-cost solutions.
It’s clear that better regulatory practices are required. Only then can sustainability in cannabis packaging become a reality, and climate damage can be mitigated. It’s an area of increasing focus, with companies like Sana Packaging consistently investing in sustainable packaging development. Business owners should be intimately familiar with their product life cycle and understand the long-term implications of every decision and introduce sustainable packaging options. By advocating for changes, the cannabis industry can continue to grow while carving out a more sustainable future.
Learn about the lucrative cannabis packaging landscape
Cannabis packaging is a competitive segment of the cannabis market, but with quality research, companies can be equipped to navigate the landscape. BCC Research’s latest report offers quality insight into the cannabis packaging market. To download your complimentary overview or to purchase the report in full, click here.
We also offer memberships to the BCC Research library. Memberships provide access to the full scope of reports within the chemicals category, offering a 360-degree approach to the industry. For more information, simply get in touch through the button below – we’d be delighted to hear from you!