Cannabis packaging market to reach USD 1.6bn

A latest market report released by Smithers stated that the global cannabis packaging market value will reach USD 1.6 billion in 2024, owing to the legalisation of the marijuana in many countries.

11 May 2020 | By Aultrin Vijay

The report found that pouches and child resistant packaging will gain market share

The global cannabis packaging industry is in a state of transition from an illegal to a legal market. However, the Smithers report states that there will be a number of winners and losers. Large national brands and producers with economies of scale will win. The small producer and retailer will lose without laws protecting them from competition.

Smithers' latest market report, The Future of Cannabis Packaging to 2024 forecasts the global cannabis packaging market value will reach $1.6 billion in 2024. This growth creates supply challenges, as do changing government regulations.

According to the findings, government regulations have favoured decentralised cannabis production. The result is many small integrated producers. The market has been characterised by many small customers doing much of the packaging and labelling by hand. Distributors of speciality/pharma packaging with local inventories are said to be the key suppliers, as are online sales from China.

Smithers’ analysis has also identified some key trends and drivers for the global cannabis packaging industry over the next five years.

First of them is that many countries have decriminalised cannabis and allow its limited use for medical purposes. Cannabis and CBD would be proven medically as a useful natural product.

Recreational cannabis has been made legal in three countries and 10 US states. Most developed countries would tax and regulate cannabis. The report found that where onerous regulations and taxes remain, the underground market will thrive. "Packaging regulations will change often and quickly. Pouches with best available technology and child resistance will also gain market share," it mentioned.

At present single-use cannabis packaging and vape cartridges are treated as waste. Over the forecast period, glass packaging will be used and more automation. Also, small, flexible-barrier film packaging systems are said to be widely employed.

Currently, vaporising concentrates are gaining popularity over smoking cannabis, the report stated. New cannabis formulations will be developed for rapid delivery and lower cost. Packaging systems for vape cartridges will require more robust packages.

Another key finding is that Germany has been importing medical cannabis from Canada; complaints force Canadians to use preservations and Germans to suspend imports. "The future will involve intelligent and advanced packaging technologies that eliminate the need for preservatives," it added.

Vaping concentrates from branded delivery technology with nationally recognised packaging will dominate the market, the report stated.

Smithers latest report covers the market trends and drivers relevant to the cannabis product types, regulatory environment, packaging designs and technical requirements. Key companies, brands and strategies have been profiled by the study to show the wide variety of packages being used for cannabis products.

The report also includes a number of case studies of cannabis packaging, which could reveal how innovative designs are embraced and how sustainability is a key component of cannabis packages in the customer’s mind.