New Cannabis Packaging and Labeling Requirements

Attention Cannabis Processors and Retailers

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) recently adopted new cannabis “Packaging and Labeling Requirements” that will be effective January 1, 2019. 

The requirements were updated with the goal of making labels easier to read, easier to understand, and less burdensome to businesses.  Licensees are allowed to ‘phase-in’ the new requirements to minimize impacts and costs, however, all label changes must be in effect by January 1, 2019. 

So, what does this mean?

Listed below are some of the packaging and labeling changes. However, cannabis licensees are encouraged to review the entire revised law as this section has been significantly enhanced.

  • A new universal symbol is being introduced

    • This new symbol will replace the warning labels “this contains marijuana” and “for use for people 21 and older”

  • The following is now required on all labels:

    • “Warning – May be habit forming”

    • “Unlawful outside Washington State”

    • "It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana"; and

    • The new marijuana universal symbol referenced above

  • The following is now considered optional on labels:

    • Harvest date

    • “Best by” date

    • Manufactured date

  • Products such as capsules and lozenges, approved by the WSLCB on a case by case basis, may be packaged loosely in a child-proof, resealable package

Other Important Changes

  • Producers and processors may offer accompanying materials, lab results, pesticide use, and other information related to cannabis production and manufacturing, via an internet link, web address or QR code. Previously, this information was to be provided in print format to the retail stores.

  • The definition of what is appealing to children, and the definition of a cartoon has been updated

  • It also appears that all infused edibles‘ labels must be reapproved by January 1, 2019

As part of this rulemaking project, the WSLCB is working to create more resources and guidance materials — for packaging and labeling for licensees — as well as process improvements to the cannabis-infused edibles product, packaging and labeling review program.

More Resources

New Universal Symbol

New Universal Symbol

Not For Kids - logo

Not For Kids - logo