5 Questions with Arnold Heckman

Special Advertising Section - Special Advertising Section | Ask the experts: Packaging

Cannabis product packaging can present a conundrum for cultivators and dispensary operators: Using compliant packaging can inhibit creativity, often forcing brands to choose between compliance and brand recognition. But it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Here, Cannaline CEO Arnold Heckman shares how his company is changing the packaging game to provide brands the best of both worlds.

July 10, 2018

1. What are some packaging challenges facing cultivators and dispensaries?

Universally, finding packaging that meets regulatory requirements, but at the same time is functional, attractive and promotes your brand. Often, the requirements are mutually exclusive, so it’s a continuing and ongoing challenge—especially if you’re a multistate operation where existing regulations are at odds with one another.

2. What types of features should a cannabis package possess?

First and foremost, packaging should be attractive and, in the case of flower or edibles, provide a high level of protection to prolong shelf life. Child-resistant packaging adds another challenge because design options are limited and any new design requires testing to meet federal requirements.

3. What is flexible packaging, and how can it be applied in the cannabis industry?

Flexible packaging is any type of plastic bag. Bags offer a lot of advantages when properly designed. They provide a low-cost, attractive package that keeps contents fresh. They also have space for branding and state-mandated warnings, take up about 5 percent of the storage space of hard containers, have a lower environmental impact and are recyclable.

We just completed developing, patenting and child-resistant testing a proprietary closure system that will work on bags and clamshell blister packaging. The closure system makes a container child resistant, resealable and tamper evident. For processing, the bags come with the closures unattached. After zipping the bag, the closure can be easily attached by hand or by use of a semi-automatic machine that we supply.

4. How does the custom-packaging process work?

It’s a collaborative process; our clients provide a lot of input. Everything we produce can be custom printed at no additional cost, so modifying and branding our stock items works the majority of the time. We start by identifying the appropriate stock packaging option or the need to design a custom one. Then we start with an existing logo or help create one. We provide the client three designs, solicit feedback and then refine the design until it’s perfect. Our goal is to create a unique package that will help promote our client’s brand and help sell their products.

5. Why is the relationship between a packaging company and cannabis business so important?

Having a strong relationship with your packaging supplier is crucial. When you and your packager are on the same page, it allows the packager to produce compliant packaging that will enhance sales, promote your brand and provide a positive end-user experience. Our commitment has always been to provide exceptional customer service and design. We pride ourselves on manufacturing packaging that will help our clients’ businesses prosper.