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How cannabis brands can take their product labels to the next level

Cannabis labeling trends

The cannabis industry has exploded in recent years and, like any new industry, is experiencing growing pains along the way. The initial excitement of legalization led to a mix of chaos and potential as industry members navigated new legal requirements along with the reality of getting businesses off the ground.

As the dust settles, many of our cannabis clients are enjoying success and asking us, “What can I do next to improve my position in the industry from a labeling perspective?”

While answers vary from client to client, we’ve come up with a few universal trends:

Add labeling equipment to your operation to improve flexibility

Variable data printing is an easy way to add unique information to an existing label, giving you the flexibility to make necessary additions and create labels for new products in-house.

You can find variable printers in a wide range of prices, making it easy to find the perfect combination of features and cost effectiveness to meet your needs.

Additionally, fully-automatic label applicators allow you to quickly and efficiently label all of your products at your own facility — no more hand labeling! In recent years, equipment companies have developed smaller, more cost-effective models that work well for the cannabis industry.

The combination of a variable printer and fully automatic label printer allows your labels to be modified and applied quickly in the comfort of your own plant, eliminating the time needed to both get a third-party printer involved and hand label the finished labels yourself.

Use unique finishes and paper stocks to help your products stand out on the shelf

For many individuals, their first introduction to cannabis brands is during their first trip to a dispensary. Because there is so much brand unfamiliarity in this segment, it is extremely important that your brand makes a good first impression.

Unique paper choices such as clear or eco-friendly stocks and special inks like metallics can help your labels stand out on the shelf. And finishes such as screens and embossing can add impact without breaking the bank.

The sky is the limit when it comes to techniques that can be used to enhance your image through your label. If you can imagine it, you can add it to your label.

Expand your brand

Not only are our cannabis customers asking what’s next, so are yours. They are looking beyond the flower for infused beverages, extracts, edibles and tinctures.

Once you have a product label that you feel perfectly captures your company’s image, it’s easy to leverage it into other types of labels for new products.

Have fun exploring your options for product expansion, then work with your label-printing team to discuss what printing technologies should be used for your new products. Shrink sleeves, pouches, tamper-evident seals and extended-content labels are a few printing technologies that work well for containers used by this industry.

Your printing team will be able to partner with you in developing a plan to convey your strong brand image across your whole product line.

Work with a label printer you trust

The cannabis industry is dynamic. Rules and regulations are constantly changing, and consumers are always pushing for the next new product.

From a labeling perspective, it’s crucial to understand what needs to be included on the package. In this situation a printer needs to work as part of your team, keeping you up to date and then making changes as needed.

A printer with a full-service art department is an added bonus — this allows for copy changes to made quickly by someone you are familiar with. When the time comes to expand and add new products to your mix, the printing expert on your team can suggest the perfect printing techniques to complement your unique brand.

Keep these tips in mind but take a moment to congratulate yourself as well — you’ve survived and thrived in a dynamic and, at times chaotic, business.

As the cannabis industry becomes a bit more established and stable, trust the team you’ve put in place and start to explore ways to add flexibility to your operation, expand your brand and improve your market share. Most importantly, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.

Let’s talk about your labels

If you’re ready to take your cannabis labels to the next level, reach out to our team. We’ve helped many cannabis brands navigate this complex and quickly evolving product category — and we can help you, too.

Find the best solution that makes the most sense for your brand.