By Dawn Nowicki, Mold-Rite Plastics and Azia Weisz, GreenLane
Cannabis packaging is no different than any other industry in the world right now being impacted by COVID-19. It is eye-opening to see that such a devastating pandemic can affect businesses in such diverse ways. Many industries like cannabis, deemed essential, are benefitting from the spikes in demand while trying to find creative ways to supply, package, and distribute.
Cannabis dispensaries have had to learn to adapt to the “on-the-go, carry-out, drive-thru“ format and find creative ways to make their product available to customers in need. The packaging preferences have experienced fluctuations due to customers and patients feeling the need to stockpile supply to cover for the uncertainty of quarantine and lockdown. Consumers are looking for a wider variety of sizes and different formulations while regulators have relaxed delivery boundaries and expanded territories to allow further reach to customers not able to visit dispensaries. This has forced growers to adapt their packaging for e-commerce, delivery, and various other formats.
Security and compliance have never been more critical than now with customers and patients relying on manufacturers to provide a safe, regulated product they can trust. made and those packaging manufacturers with strong regulatory backing (FDA compliance) who have already been certified are faring well in a supply chain only supporting essential operations. Without the ability to view, compare, and shop the product in the dispensary — shoppers are forced to rely on the credibility of their brand of choice. Child-resistant availability along with label accuracy and transparency is of paramount importance when the product is delivered or picked up curbside.
Not all is doom and gloom; the increased demand is certainly positive but poses challenges for the growers to understand how to forecast and plan for the ebbs and flows they are suddenly experiencing. Consumers are definitely seeing the value of knowing exactly where their product and packaging are sourced, and the industry is seeing a trend toward more on-shore production which is great for the U.S. economy. Sustainable options are still in great demand and this pandemic has certainly shed light on the value of controlled recycling which creates a more stable source for Post-Consumer Resin for plastics and drives manufacturers to look to local suppliers to partner on returnable, reusable options.
Unfortunately, no one is protected from the effects of this pandemic, but the fact that we are all in this together certainly helps motivate the industry to look for the positives, capitalize on the demand, and identify the lessons we can carry forward to make us all better suppliers to this rapidly emerging industry.
Be A Part Of The Conversation
Sustainability Considerations for Cannabis Packaging is one of many topics we’ll be exploring at the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Cannabis Business Summit, happening September 29 – October 1, 2020, at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in the birthplace of the medical cannabis movement, the industry’s largest and most influential trade association offers cannabis business owners and operators the opportunity to network with industry leaders, discover products and services to help grow their business, and explore insights. Secure your spot today for the NCIA’s Cannabis Business Summit – Registration is now open!
About the authors…
Dawn Nowicki is the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Mold-Rite Plastics where she is primarily focused on supporting sales and Innovation & Technology by integrating the market/customer trends and needs with MRP’s strategy to Delight the Customer. She has a diverse background in packaging and Healthcare serving in a variety of roles from Engineering, Quality, Sales and Marketing in both Glass and Plastic Packaging having formerly worked for Owens-Illinois, Rexam, Priority Plastics, and Eli Lilly. Dawn has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toledo and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
You can also catch her at Cannabis Business Summit, happening September 29 – October 1, 2020, at San Francisco’s Moscone Center on the panel: Sustainability Considerations for Cannabis Packaging
The modern marketer must be a scientist; even in traditional industries, today’s marketer touches every aspect of business operations from customer service, to sales, to web development and beyond. Few have the discipline, organizational prowess or genuine intellect to execute a multifaceted marketing strategy like Azia Weisz, Marketing Director at Green Rush Packaging. Green Rush is a leader in cannabis packaging solutions, and Weisz is lending her nine years of professional marketing experience, including her entrepreneurial experience building and running her own company, to develop their brand and to navigate the treacherous waters of cannabis industry marketing. She’s a veritable jack-of-all-trades, having built successful campaigns in nearly every medium across several industries, and her specialties include rigorous data analysis and mindful strategic planning.