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Proposed Manufacturing Regulations: Cannabis Product Symbol

 

The proposed regulations from the California Department of Public Health, Office of Manufactured Cannabis Safety (OMCS), require that cannabis products have a label with a primary panel featuring the visually unstable Cannabis Product Symbol, which looks like it’s about to tip over:

The draft regulations propose that the  Cannabis Product Symbol must be “no smaller in size than half (.5) inch by half (.5) inch” and must be “printed legibly and conspicuously” in a product’s primary label.

The Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR) elaborates on the reasoning behind the Cannabis Product Symbol: “Product symbols are a commonly used tool to provide information and guidance as to a package’s content. Oregon, Washington, and Colorado all require a cannabis-specific symbol to be placed upon the package. A cannabis product symbol provides notice to that a product is not a traditional food product. This provision is necessary to protect from unintentional consumption.”

The Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation, a cannabis industry group promoting sensible self-regulation, has published a monograph entitled “Cannabis Packaging and Labeling: Regulatory Recommendations for States and Nations” (download here.) Members of the medical cannabis industry recommended an Industry-Wide Universal Symbol, which is shown below (triangles with leaf motif and letters THC.)  Compare the Recommended Industry-Wide Universal Symbol suggested by the Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation with the cannabis symbols used by the States of Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, as well as the proposed California Cannabis Product Symbol.
California Cannabis Product Symbol
A slightly different approach that has come up in recent discussions of the Cannabis Product Symbol’s design would be to vary the color from yellow to orange to red, depending on the potency of the cannabis product.  Thus, low-potency products would be color-coded yellow, medium-potency products would be color-coded orange, and high-potency products would be color-coded red.

The above information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.  Please contact a lawyer for legal counsel.

If you would like legal assistance in advocating for changes to the proposed regulations, please get in touch with us.  If you are interested in a legal consultation about the California Cannabis Product Symbol, the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MCRSA), or compliance with California’s cannabis laws, please contact the Law Offices of Omar Figueroa at (707) 829-0215 or at (415) 489-0420.

SOURCE MATERIALS:

 

§40405. Primary Panel Labeling Requirements.

(a) The label for a cannabis product shall include a primary panel that includes the following information:

(1) The identity of the product in a text size reasonably related to the most prominent printed matter on the panel;

(2) The words “cannabis-infused” immediately above the identity of the product in bold type and a text size larger than the text size used for the identity of the product;

(3) The cannabis product symbol as prescribed in Section 40412 ;

(4) The net weight or volume of the contents of the package;

(5) The THC content and CBD content for the package in its entirety, expressed in milligrams per package;

(6) The THC content and CBD content per serving, expressed in milligrams per serving; and

(7) The content of other cannabinoids or terpenes per serving if such information is verified by the certificate of analysis issued by a licensed testing laboratory pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 19344.

(b) The primary panel text must be in type size no less than 6 point font and be in relation to the size of the primary panel and container.

Authority: Sections 19302.1, subdivision (f); 19304; and 19341, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 19300.5, subdivision (v); 19302.1, subdivision (f); 19347; 19347.5, Business and Professions Code.

 

 

§40412. Cannabis Product Symbol.

The primary panel of a medical cannabis product shall be marked, stamped, or otherwise imprinted with the cannabis product symbol directly on the package.

(a) The symbol shall replicate the following in form and color:

(b) The symbol shall be no smaller in size than half (.5) inch by half (.5) inch and shall be printed legibly and conspicuously.

Authority: Sections 19304 and 19341, Business and Professions Code. Reference: Section 19300.5, subdivision (v), 19302.1, subdivision (f), 19347, 19347.5, Business and Professions Code.

 

The Initial Statement of Reasons (ISOR) elaborates on the reasoning behind the Cannabis Product Symbol:

Adopt Section 40412. Cannabis Product Symbol. This section establishes the required cannabis product symbol to be printed on the primary panel. Product symbols are a commonly used tool to provide information and guidance as to a package’s content. Oregon, Washington, and Colorado all require a cannabis-specific symbol to be placed upon the package. A cannabis product symbol provides notice to that a product is not a traditional food product. This provision is necessary to protect from unintentional consumption.

Subsection (a) provides the cannabis product symbol. The symbol was designed by the Department and is intended to provide clear notice that a package contains cannabis.

Subsection (b) requires that the symbol must be no smaller than 0.5 inch by 0.5 inch in size. A symbol that is too small to be readily seen will not serve to protect public health.

 

 

 

 

Council on Responsible Cannabis Regulation: Cannabis Packaging and Labeling: Regulatory Recommendations for States and Nations