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Keeping up with Cannabis Labeling Across States

Legal recreational marijuana is becoming the law of the land across the United States – one state at a time. For small-business owners getting involved in the industry, this legal crawl is one of the primary challenges holding their companies back. The patchwork of rules put in place by each state that legalizes products has led to inconsistency.

These differences in labeling and distribution laws shouldn’t stop entrepreneurs from testing the market. They simply mean business owners must do their homework and ensure that their packaging approaches are in line with the law in their chosen territories. Frequent change is another of the tricky traits of these early-days laws, but as of now, Memjet reminds cannabis distributors to remember the following:


There are a number of essential pieces of information to place on labels for legal cannabis products in Washington. For instance, manufacturers must accurately label the date the crop was harvested and disclose pesticide information. The labels also need to note that the products may be illegal outside of Washington, making sure consumers are aware that the laws governing marijuana products differ at the state level.

Furthermore, the list of warning statements required for labels largely mirror those used on alcohol or tobacco. Consumers must be warned about potential health risks and intoxication, as well as the fact that the products may be habit-forming and are illegal for users under 21. There should also be a statement warning against motor vehicle use while intoxicated.

Edible products are in their own special category, needing nutrition facts as well as a special warning symbol to tell buyers the items are not for children.


Oregon is a little different from Washington, with a few specific elements needed: Product labels have to describe how long the item takes to activate, which can be conveyed in written or pictorial form. Furthermore, if tests have been performed on the items in question, the labels have to name the lab involved. The symbol for Oregon items is different from Washington’s and is required on all packages – not just for edible products.


Distributors in Colorado have a few restrictions on what they can and cannot state on their product labels, which also differ from Oregon and Washington alike. For instance, items can’t be called candy or candies. There are also warnings about health effects for pregnant or breast-feeding women and a heavy machinery usage prohibition. As with the aforementioned states, Colorado has its own warning symbol.

…And More to Come

As more states legalize recreational cannabis, the many rules involved will multiply across the country – and north of the border. Providers can get ready by browsing DuraFast’s selection of Memjet printers at our U.S. site or, for Canadian distributors, our Canada page.

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