Cannabis Industry Group Preps Voluntary Packaging Standards

The National Association of Cannabis Businesses says its proposed standards are a response to federal actions that threaten to criminalize an industry that has only recently been legalized at the state level.

The cannabis industry, feeling under threat after a period of growth as a result of marijuana legalization in several states, doesn’t want to take any chances as federal scrutiny rises. With that in mind, the National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) last week published a set of draft standards for packaging and labeling of cannabis products.

The standards call for cannabis product labeling that highlights health risks, lists product ingredients and their origin, and includes food and allergen warnings. They also urge manufacturers and sellers to use child-proof packaging and avoid marketing that targets children.

Although the proposed standards are voluntary, NACB said that members who do not comply may be expelled from the organization or face “other consequences.”

NACB, founded last year, said the standards are a response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind the so-called Cole memo, a move the group called “a clear shot across the bow.” The Cole memo stated an Obama-era policy that federal authorities would not intervene in state marijuana laws.

“The NACB believes that self-regulation is the most effective course of action for NACB members to control their own destiny in the face of regulators’ growing need to intervene,” the group said in an introduction to the draft standards. “Creating national standards that in some cases are more rigorous than state law will help NACB members protect consumers and demonstrate to regulators, financial institutions, and the public that they operate at the highest levels of ethics and responsibility.”

NACB describes itself as a “self-regulatory organization” and says its approach emulates successful strategies used by financial, alcohol, and real estate groups, among others.

In comments to The Fresh Toast, NACB President Andrew Kline said the trade group focused on packaging based on research that found packaging would be a key concern.

“The creation and adoption of national, voluntary standards that are aligned with regulators’ priorities takes input from government, NACB members, and subject matter experts into careful consideration,” he said.

NACB is accepting comments on the proposed standards until February 21.

(eskymaks/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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