Going “cheap” is not always the best way to earn more from your product. Taking the risk to have excellence in your packaging shines through to consumers who will in turn see your product having more value.
Compliance is a major issue in cannabis packaging and one that can easily scare away would-be cannabis entrepreneurs. While compliance requirements are steep, businesses have to put every effort to ensure that the packaging that they choose provides the appropriate environment to safeguard the freshness and potency of the cannabis product. While this may require proper technology, one has to factor in the cost to prevent bumping up the unit cost by a wide margin. At the same time, the question of sustainability always comes up. But we all know that if done right, packaging provides a unique opportunity for branding, product differentiation, and marketing. How does one find balance?
We spoke to Traci Black, the Director of Operations at DIZPOT, to get insights into the opportunities and pitfalls in cannabis packaging.
Meet Traci Black
Before entering the cannabis industry, Traci was heavily involved in business development and management for 25 years. By working one-on-one with companies in their infancy, Traci has led organizations through phases in which they might not have otherwise flourished. Traci has generated the highest volume of new accounts company-wide at a former company and was recognized with a Top Salesperson of the Nation Award.
Traci started her own business and worked from home before eventually working at a large MSO Dispensary for 4 years. She helped grow their operations rapidly: quickly increasing their stores from 2 to 13. Her success in the industry is a direct result of her background, this helped her become an admirable leader at DIZPOT.
Her greatest motivation is helping others be their best. Her favorite quote is “There are no failures if you learn and grow from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.” Dee Waldeck
As an intro, how did your career path lead you to cannabis packaging?
For years I was the general manager of a large multi-state operating dispensary, This company also had many brands under their umbrella, all of which required packaging. During my time at that establishment, I quickly learned that the cannabis industry is ever-changing and built to operate with speed and efficiency. This suited my skill set well. After my time with the dispensary was done, I started working with DIZPOT, and an ancillary packaging company. I formed a great relationship with the owners and staff, and I was able to bring my wealth of knowledge to the forefront of DIZPOT's decision-making when it came to providing packaging and service to dispensaries, as well as brands.
Cannabis packaging is a nightmare for most cannabis businesses. How does it compare to packaging in other industries?
While cannabis is new to legal marketplaces, cannabis has been for sale in black market retail scenarios for many years. The pioneers of cannabis have set a strong path for creating excellent packaging options which are most borrowed from other CPG industries such as cosmetics, jewelry, and, of course, food and beverage. Working with an innovative branding and packaging company such as DIZPOT, brands will find that their products will be presented to retail consumers in more sophisticated and unique ways.
How important is technology when it comes to cannabis packaging?
Cannabis businesses are growing fast and that means that technology is sorely lacking and in some cases, completely absent. However, the tech companies are catching up to now providing software and automation equipment that are propelling cannabis brands to new levels of production. These new technologies can be anything from logistics software such as what DIZPOT is creating for supply chain management to auto-fillers for concentrates and flower. Like any maturing industry, technology evolves to meet the needs for growth, and right now, there’s no faster-growing business than legal marijuana.
Eco-friendly packaging: costs versus benefits. Does it pay off, in the long run, to invest in Eco-friendly packaging?
Every company should be doing what it can, within reason, to reduce its carbon footprint. Eco-friendly packaging is a way to do this but it can be expensive in today’s world. Frankly, the world is not producing enough eco-friendly material to make it cost-efficient. That said, there are materials for joint tubes and barrier bags which is bio-degradable or recyclable. These materials are available, and the increased cost is far more palatable than other types of packaging.
How can cannabis businesses save costs on packaging?
First and foremost, they should see packaging as a means to convey marketing messages to their customers. They can use social handles, QR codes, or NFC tech to present unique information to customers and extend their expenses regarding packaging to bolster their investment in marketing. Secondly, buy all your packaging in one place. If our team can see your entire opportunity, we can cut your costs through economies of scale. Lastly, going “cheap” is not always the best way to earn more from your product. Taking the risk to have excellence in your packaging shines through to consumers who will in turn see your product having more value.
The cannabis industry is largely unregulated. How does this affect cannabis packaging?
While the cannabis industry is differently regulated, I would not say that it is largely unregulated. In the absence of federal regulations, every state has come up with its own rules for commercialization creating incredible disparities in compliance for packaging. This reality has created complications mostly for multi-state operators (MSOs) which are required to meet compliance which is different in nearly every marketplace in at least some ways. Working with DIZPOT will give your company confidence that your brands are meeting compliance regulations and professionally presenting your product.
In your view, what does the future of the industry look like?
DIZPOT is excited for the future of cannabis and the outlook on our industry for the foreseeable future is growth and lots of it. According to the experts, the industry will double in size over the next five years. Our team is ready to grow and evolve with the industry and continue to be a tool for its use for a very long time.
Thank you for the great interview and for all of the work that you have done to help move this industry forward, readers who wish to learn more should visit DIZPOT.