Child-Resistant Certified Packaging: What It Is & Why It Matters

We’re excited to announce that our 1/8th oz Flower Containers and Pre-Roll Tubes are both officially child-resistant certified! This is a significant milestone for Sana Packaging and further confirmation that our hemp-based packaging designs are market ready.

Child-resistant (CR) certification is an integral part of cannabis packaging. However, there is still some confusion among consumers about what exactly CR certification is and why it matters. So, let’s shed some light on the subject!


What Is CR Packaging?
Also referred to as “special packaging,” CR packaging is designed to reduce the risk of poisoning in children via the ingestion of potentially harmful substances. These substances include certain prescription and over-the-counter medications, pesticides, and a myriad of household chemicals. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regulates CR packaging under the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1972.

The Poison Prevention Packaging Act states that “special packaging” is “packaging that is designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five years of age to open or obtain a toxic or harmful amount of the substance contained therein within a reasonable time and not difficult for normal adults to use properly, but does not mean packaging which all such children cannot open or obtain a toxic or harmful amount within a reasonable time.”

The guidelines for “special packaging” are maintained and updated by ASTM International, a “globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of voluntary consensus standards.” Today, there are over 12,000 ASTM standards worldwide. These standards are made to “improve product quality, enhance health and safety, strengthen market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.”

What is CR Certification?
It’s pretty simple: CR certification is the official certification all CR packaging must have in order to be compliant with the Poison Prevention Packaging Act. The CR certification testing is administered by third-party certification agencies (we used Tread Global in Denver, CO).

The CR Certification Process
Panels of 50 children ranging from 42-51 months old are used for the CR certification process. First, the children are given 5 minutes to open the packaging. Then, they are shown how to open the packaging and given 5 more minutes to try. A maximum of 200 children may be tested and the threshold for passing is 80%, meaning that no more than 20% of the children can breach the packaging in order for it to pass. The official parameters required for passing the CR certification are outlined in 16 CFR § 1700.20(a)(2)(iii).

Why Do Cannabis Products Need CR Packaging?
While cannabis regulations are different in every legal state (med and/or rec), it’s generally safe to assume that cannabis packaging needs to be CR certified. It’s required in Colorado and will also be required in California come 2018. So this begs the question: is CR packaging really necessary for cannabis products? After all, tobacco and alcohol packaging doesn’t have to be CR certified and those products are far more dangerous in the hands of children.

There’s a lot to unpack here and I’m barely going to scratch the surface of the CR cannabis packaging debate. The point I want to make is that CR packaging is a no-brainer for edibles because they’re fairly easy for a child to ingest – especially given the fact that edibles often come in the forms of candy or chocolate. It’s less of a no-brainer for flower and extracts. The chances of a child eating (or SMOKING) flower or extracts are much smaller. And given the fact that the THC in flower and extracts is heat activated, there would be no psychoactive effects if a child ingested these products orally. But that’s beside the point.

The point is that regulations are important, and it’s even more important to be compliant with regulations if we want the cannabis industry to succeed. That – along with the safety of our children – is why our products are CR certified.

Why Is Sana Packaging Unique?
It’s difficult to create innovative packaging designs when there are regulatory constraints such as CR certification. However, every cannabis product needs packaging and simply meeting regulatory standards isn’t enough. Sana Packaging has taken on the challenge of creating differentiated, sustainable, and compliant packaging for the cannabis industry. We can’t wait to help cannabis brands enhance their stories with our packaging!

- James Eichner

James Eichner

James Eichner is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Sana Packaging. Prior to the cannabis industry, James worked in the environmental nonprofit sector, the music industry, and the publishing industry.