Cannabis Packaging Pain Points: Complicated Customization Process

Compliance is the name of the game in the cannabis industry. This is especially true wh...

Cannabis Packaging Pain Points: Complicated Customization Process

Compliance is the name of the game in the cannabis industry. This is especially true when it comes to cannabis packaging because you simply can’t sell your cannabis products unless you have compliant packaging that arrives on time. 

And because most cannabis packaging requires some level of customization, having a streamlined customization process is crucial to the success of your business. A complicated customization process is typically a symptom of working with too many points of contact or not having enough flexibility to meet your needs. 

When the livelihood of your cannabis business is dependent on compliant packaging that fits the specific needs of your business, a complicated customization process can be both frustrating and detrimental to your success. 

This is the fifth blog post in our series about cannabis packaging pain points. The first four posts examined slow turnaround times & long lead times, expensive shipping & international shipping challenges, poor customer service, and high minimum order quantities

This blog post examines issues associated with a complicated customization process, what causes these issues, and how you can address them.

Complicated Customization Process

So what causes a complicated customization process and what challenges do custom printing and labeling requirements pose for cannabis businesses?

Poor Planning

When compliance is the name of the game, proper planning is the winning strategy. Some things, like custom printing and labeling requirements, inevitably contribute to longer lead times. 

Typically, the only cannabis packaging products that ship next-day are blank products. And unless you have the means to fulfill your printing and labeling needs in-house, your cannabis packaging is likely going to require some level of customization, adding additional touchpoints.

Lack of Expertise

Some cannabis packaging suppliers simply aren’t experts when it comes to custom printing and labeling. Due to the strict cannabis packaging regulatory environment, it’s crucial to find a cannabis packaging supplier with a streamlined customization process and an experienced team that understands your custom printing and labeling needs. 

Lack of Flexibility

When it comes to cannabis packaging, lack of flexibility is one of the primary causes of a complicated customization process. Every state with a legal cannabis market has its own nuances and every cannabis business has its own unique set of circumstances and needs. 

Furthermore, most cannabis businesses are startups and startups require flexibility.

Your labels might need state-specific regulatory language or symbols, your order might require batch customization variants for different strains or products, or you might have to expedite a specific label variant because you’re running low on packaging for a particular strain or product - the list goes on! 

Too Many Points of Contact

The more people you need to communicate with when you order cannabis packaging, the more opportunities there are for important details to get lost in translation or an unnecessary game of telephone. 

This is especially true when custom printing and labeling is a part of your order and too many points of contact quickly leads to a complicated customization process.

Solutions to a Complicated Customization Process

Ultimately, the best way to address any cannabis packaging pain point is to work with a packaging supplier you can trust and to build a long-term relationship with your packaging supplier. 

So what are some steps you can take to ensure you won’t be stuck working with a cannabis packaging supplier with a complicated customization process? 

Talk to Your Cannabis Packaging Supplier

It all starts with a conversation! You have to talk to your cannabis packaging supplier to ensure you are on the same page. Only then can you begin building the trust required to sustain a long-term working relationship. 

Ask These 6 Key Questions

1. Can I accurately project the packaging and customization needs for my business?
Since custom printing and labeling inevitably leads to longer lead times, it’s important to know exactly how much packaging you need, what printing and labeling services your packaging requires, and when you need your packaging to arrive at your facility. It’s also important to have your artwork ready before you begin the customization process. 

2. Do many of your customers require custom printing & labeling?
The answer to this question should be “yes” - plain and simple. If many or most of a cannabis packaging supplier’s customers require custom printing and labeling services, that’s a strong indicator that they have a streamlined customization process based on standard operating procedures. 

3. Can you facilitate our custom printing & labeling requirements? 
The answer to this question should also be “yes”. Before working with a new cannabis packaging supplier, you need to make sure they can facilitate your specific custom printing and labeling requirements. 

When it comes to cannabis packaging, good customer service means having a streamlined customization process with minimal points of contact to help ensure you have compliant cannabis packaging that arrives on time every time.

4. What are your typical lead times for products that require custom printing & labeling?
A good cannabis packaging supplier runs a tight ship and should have a standard response to this question based on documented standard operating procedures. A standard response to this question is also an indicator of a streamlined customization process.

Consistency is incredibly important when it comes to cannabis packaging and we don’t need to remind you again that you can only sell your cannabis products if you have compliant packaging that arrives on time. 

5. Do you have flexible customization options?
As we mentioned above, your labels might need state-specific regulatory language or symbols, your order might require custom label variants for different strains or products, or you might have to expedite a specific label variant because you’re running low on packaging for a particular strain or product. 

With this in mind, working with a cannabis packaging supplier that offers flexible customization options is crucial. You should ask your cannabis packaging supplier if they offer low batch customization variants and if they charge batch fees for customization variants. 

6. Will I have a dedicated sales representative that knows me, my business, and my needs?
A dedicated sales representative can make a world of difference when it comes to streamlining communication and custom printing and labeling services.

And because every cannabis business is different, working with a dedicated sales representative who knows you, your business, and your needs, can save you a lot of time, money, and logistical headaches.

Having a dedicated sales representative is also a strong indicator of a streamlined customization process and a dedicated sales representative is more likely to go out of their way to help you.

Key Takeaways About a Complicated Customization Process

Some of the best ways to avoid a complicated customization are to ensure your cannabis packaging supplier has:

1. A proven track record of facilitating custom printing and labeling services for their customers.

2. The ability and expertise required to meet your specific custom printing and labeling needs.

3. A streamlined customization process with flexible customization options like low batch customization variants.

4. A dedicated sales representative that knows you, your business, and your needs.

And if possible, try to ensure you have everything ready on your end before placing a cannabis packaging order with custom printing and labeling requirements, including artwork and accurate projections for batch customization variants. 

One of the best ways to communicate your cannabis brand’s commitment to sustainability is through your packaging, but you need to have packaging that prioritizes sustainability first! 

Contact us if you’re ready to discover the real impact your packaging has on the environment and you’re ready to build a long-term relationship with a cannabis packaging supplier you can trust. It all starts with a conversation!