Deciphering Washington state pot labels

Published Jan 9, 2020 02:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Ben Harding

Deciphering the label of any product can be a tedious task, especially for the elderly. As a result, most times, we don’t even bother to read the label. This is unadvisable though because the label provides us with the necessary information that we need to know about the product. Cannabis labels are no different, which is why we are even more encouraged to check and read the labels of marijuana products.

Some states have specific labels. One such state is Washington. Marijuana has been legalized since 2014. This means that cannabis use for medical or recreational purposes is legal. However, federal marijuana legalization has not become a reality in the United States yet. Therefore, it is illegal to sell or buy weed.

Cannabis businesses that manufacture cannabis products must be cautious and ensure that they follow state regulations. The labelling on a package is one necessary component that shows compliance with the laws of a state. Considering that there are many changes in the cannabis industry, much information about a cannabis product is found on a Washington cannabis label.

Descriptions on labels

Generally, some vital details must be on a label. These include the following: Name of the production company, expiry date, manufacturing state, weight whether in gram or ounces, among other details.

Washington state regulations

Washington has issued several regulations regarding marijuana packaging and labelling that should be observed by cannabis businesses effective in 2020. It is a mandatory requirement that packages and labels have a printing showing the universal weed symbol.

The design for this symbol is easy to recognize by consumers because it is a marijuana plant. The symbol distinguishes cannabis products from other products on the shelf. Warnings that are approved by the state should be placed on the package. The types of warnings used depend on the type of cannabis product. If the product is a cannabis flower, then a warning like, "smoking is hazardous to your health" is required.



The state rules of Washington prohibit the use of false or misleading claims on labels. Any claims made should be supported by scientific evidence either on the companies’ website or on additional leaflets. As a caution, labels, and packages should not be colourful or use objects that may attract children. This is because cannabis products are not fit for consumption by children and child consumption is against the law.


One main aspect of a cannabis label is the content. The content is important because it indicates the ingredients in the cannabis product as well as the quantity. Consumers can regulate the amount of THC or CBD they would possibly intake. The total amount of THC, CBD, other cannabinoids and terpenes should be listed on the label.

Not only those, but pesticides used should be listed. All pesticides used during and after cultivation should be provided on the label so that consumers can be advised accordingly and make an informed choice whether to purchase a product or not.

Some products may be edibles, and so any and every additive added to these products should be disclosed on the label. It seems like a whole lot of information on a small label. Some consumers may get frustrated and annoyed by so much information, but the state is concerned with the safety of consumers.

As time progresses, consumers will be familiarize themselves with the information they need from a cannabis label, and so won’t take too long to read a cannabis label. Hopefully, this will aid as a guide to first-time cannabis consumers.

Globally cannabis product packaging rules are terrible for the environment


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