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A Trip to the Boston Cannabis Convention: Safety Concerns with Packaging Highlight Need for Child Resistant Caps and Jars

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NECANN | 2018 Boston Cannabis Conference

On a sunny Sunday in March, I drove up to Boston to check out NECANN’s (New England Cannabis Conventions) fourth annual Boston Cannabis Convention.

Held at the impressive Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s Back Bay, the BCC was a well-planned, carefully organized outing and had the flavors and fixings of a proper business convergence event, not a warehouse ‘pot party’as some might envision.
     NECANN | 2018 Boston Cannabis Conference

While there were a handful of attendees who exuded a head shop vibe (and offered much of the standard fare you’d find in a college town smoke shop —glass pipes, grinders, rolling papers, water pipes, etc) the majority of sellers and marijuana business representatives hailed from the production side of the industry.

Most of the companies present had gathered to partake in the business-to-business mentorship and camaraderie that convention offered. I was impressed by the volume of seasoned and serious entrepreneurs who had showed up to enhance their individual and collective understanding of the marijuana marketplace, spanning from manufacturers of grow lights and cultivators of soils to software companies who specialties ranged from banking to customer relationship management (CRM).

     

By the end of the afternoon, I got the impression that most of attendees weren’t so much the red-eyed, tie-dye cloaked pot enthusiasts one might expect, but were instead the starters of young businesses who hoped to gain a better understanding of their rapidly evolving industry and the constantly-changing laws that control it.

Decriminalized in 2008, the current plan in Massachusetts is to make marijuana fully legal, and available for recreational use to ‘non-medicinal’citizens by July 2018[1].

But what will that actually look like? And will that even happen?

Despite its ‘progressive’reputation within New England, strides in the marijuana industry within the Puritan State have been slow. And in many instances, the laws remain murky, pending decisions from Boston’s Cannabis Control Commission, a state appointed committee chosen to regulate and monitor the recreational and medical marijuana industries[2].

With the ‘rules’that will, one-day, command the pot industry still being defined, most venders at the conference aired on the side of cautious. And while there were plenty of samples going around, most were THC-free —intended to give a sense of flavor and variety, not effect. The exception, I found, was medicinal CBD oils and tinctures, which are growing in popularity across the nation, and were provided at the BCC in their unfiltered form.


Safety Concerns with Packaging Highlight Need for Child Resistant Caps and Jars

Among the variety of vendors, packaging was modestly-represented, which to me, suggests ample room for growth. Safety concerns surrounding legalized weed have led to various state-sanctioned laws that vary state by state and specify packaging requirements. While not yet mandated, storage options with child resistant caps are gaining popularity and seem like a natural ‘must-have’for recreational users with young children.

Many of the storage options on display resembled Parkway’s stock customizable of plastic jars, already available in various 1/8 ounce increments, which should make them well-suited for the “flower”end of the marijuana storage, as well as concentrated forms of cannabis, like CBD and "wax".

Parkway Plastics offers Child Resistant Caps in sizes ranging from 20mm to 89mm. (Shown: 33mm). Click to shop Parkway Plastics' Child Resistant Caps. These 33mm Plastic Jars are ideal for concentrated forms of cannabis, like CBD or wax. Click to browse Parkway Plastics' wide selection of jars.

As the laws and regulations surrounding legalized marijuana become better articulated in America, so will the industry’s packaging demands and requirements. Until then, it’s the Wild West, on the east coast and in most American markets. But with the pot boom only gaining momentum, events like the Boston Cannabis Convention will become more commonplace and the need for better, safer ways to store pot products will become more widespread.

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Mike Torrant is a guest blogger for Parkway Plastics Inc. 


[1] http://www.wbur.org/news/2018/03/06/massachusetts-marijuana-regulations-approved

[2] https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2017/09/01/state-announces-final-appointments-to-marijuana.html



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