Historically, cannabis packages have evoked a playful and colorful vibe. But now thanks to newly approved regulations in New York, the nascent industry’s regulated products will have a more subdued look.
Gothamist reports that this past Wednesday the state’s Cannabis Control Board voted to approve a variety of regulations that would limit cannabis product packaging, all with the purpose of protecting people under the age of 21.
The approved regulations would ban the use of cartoon characters, bubble letters, candy references, or bright colors in cannabis packaging, anything that might appeal to young users. Claims of marijuana products being “organic” or “safe” would also be illegal. When it comes to cannabis ads, words like “weed,” stoner,” and more, won’t be allowed.
Aside from these rules, cannabis products would also have to comply with a variety of regulations that have been enforced in other legal states, like childproof packaging and cannabis ads keeping a 500 feet distance from schools, libraries, playgrounds, and child centers.
Children having access to cannabis products has been a growing concern for the industry, with more and more kids gaining access to these products and ending up in emergency rooms. The increase in these numbers has resulted in brands suing cannabis companies and the FDA mailing out cease and desist letters to a variety of cannabis businesses.
While protecting children from cannabis is important and something that must be taken seriously, it seems like New York State is working hard to deliver a sanitized cannabis experience. No matter whether the packaging has cartoons on it or not, studies have demonstrated that legalization doesn’t encourage cannabis use in teens. The problem lies in what parents do once the product gets home.