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Growers Requirements for Labeling

June 17, 2016

Whether growing for a patient or a dispensary, growers should make sure they are aware of and comply with any state laws and regulations for the proper labeling of the product.

The industry, which is still in its infancy as far as laws are concerned, will continue to see more states enact or increase regulations for the purposes of safety. California and Colorado recently passed stricter regulations concerning the labeling of edibles. The development of regulations will likely extend to other cannabis products as well, so it is important to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing requirements.

Complying with labeling requirements guarantees only that a grower will not have an issue with state governing bodies for noncompliance. If a customer purchases a product that is mislabeled or does not have the proper warnings, there is the possibility of exposure to a product liability claim if there are injuries or damages. Although there is no outright regulatory compliance defense—meaning that compliance with state regulations will not release someone from all liability—it can be immensely helpful as a defense.

However, some states, such as Montana and Michigan, currently have zero regulations on labeling, but that won’t be for long. It is only a matter of time before states use their regulating authority to enact quality control and ensure patients and consumers receive the product intended.

What can growers do to protect themselves against potential legal issues if their state currently does not have labeling requirements? Whether they label the product themselves or need to pass along the information to the dispensary, every grower should be prepared to provide at a minimum the following information:

  • Accurate identification of the amount of THC, CBD or any other cannabinoids and active ingredients present in the product
  • Quantity
  • Strain
  • Product lot identified through unique number or bar code
  • Date of packaging
  • Date of expiration
  • Statements:
    • No false or misleading statements. For example, many states have regulations that a grower may not label the product “organic,” unless it is in strict compliance with U.S. Department of Agriculture standards. It is also important not to mislead consumers as to the amount of active ingredients.
    • Most states require the following statements, usually capitalized or in bold:
      • “Keep Away From Children”
      • “This product is for medicinal use only”
      • “Do not drive or operate machinery when under the influence of this product”
  • Correct size of printed information on label: Some states dictate a minimum font size or that certain phrases must be capitalized or in bold. For example, Massachusetts requires text height of at least 1/16th of an inch, while many other states require only legible information.


Additional Resources: The following are state-specific laws and regulations concerning labeling, although these are always subject to change:

Alaska: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/aac.asp#3.306.360

Arizona: http://azdhs.gov/licensing/medical-marijuana/index.php?pg=dispensaries#rules-statutes

California: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160AB266

Colorado: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/Retail%20Marijuana%20Rules%20through%2001302015.pdf

Connecticut: http://eregulations.ct.gov/eRegsPortal/Browse/RCSA?id=Title%2021a|21a-408|21a-408-56|21a-408-56

Delaware: http://regulations.delaware.gov/AdminCode/title16/Department%20of%20Health%20and%20Social%20Services/Division%20of%20Public%20Health/Health%20Systems%20Protection%20(HSP)/4470.shtml section 7.2.8 and 7.3.10

D.C.: http://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Gateway/RuleHome.aspx?RuleNumber=22-C5607

Hawaii: http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuanaregistry/wp-content/blogs.dir/97/files/2015/12/2015-329D-HRS.pdf section 329D-11

Illinois: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=3503&ChapterID=35

Maine: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/dlrs/mmm/

Maryland: http://www.dsd.state.md.us/COMAR/subtitle_chapters/10_Chapters.aspx#Subtitle62 subtitle 62

Massachusetts: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/regs/105cmr725.pdf CMR 725.105E

Michigan: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-72600_72603_51869-358173–,00.html Michigan does not have current legislation on required information on labels.

Minnesota: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/rules/?id=4770&version=2015-02-20T11:53:43-06:00&format=pdf

Montana: http://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca_toc/50_46_3.htm. Montana does not have current legislation on required information on labels.

Nevada: http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nac/nac-453a.html#NAC453ASec502 NAC 453A.502 – 508

New Hampshire: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/state_agencies/he-c400.html He-C 402.19

New Jersey: http://nj.gov/health/medicalmarijuana/index.shtml

New Mexico: Section

New York: http://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/docs/regulations.pdf Section 1004.11(k) which requires prior approval of labels by Department of Health

Oregon: https://www.oregon.gov/olcc/marijuana/Pages/PackagingLabelingPreApproval.aspx

Rhode Island: http://sos.ri.gov/documents/archives/regdocs/released/pdf/DOH/7659.pdf Section 5.1.8(j)

Vermont: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/fullchapter/18/086 Section 4474e(h)

Washington: http://app.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=314-55-105 Section 314-55-120


By Devon Landis

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