POT QUIZ: 3 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN SCALING MARIJUANA PACKAGING LINE DESIGNS FOR GUMMIES, FLOWER, & CONCENTRATES
As more states and territories opt to deregulate cannabis products, the adult-use and medical marijuana markets continue to grow rapidly.
In the U.S. alone, sales topped $33 billion in 2022 and analysts project that by 2024, it will exceed $43 billion. With this phenomenal growth, brands have to know what questions to ask when scaling their marijuana packaging lines for gummies, concentrates, or flower.
What makes marijuana packaging lines unique is that they need to be easy to use, accommodate quick changeovers, and fit within a small footprint. Along with these considerations, the packaging line’s design should also ensure you remain compliant with a variety of regulations and guidelines that may only apply to a specific region or product format.
Refining Your Marijuana Packaging Line Design for Future Scaling
To support brands that want to maintain growth over the coming years, below we discuss the three key questions you should consider before expanding your packaging line operations.
Question 1: What are the Common Mistakes Brands Make When Scaling a Cannabis Product Packaging Line?
Once the packaging line can no longer handle the required volumes, the tendency is to switch out individual equipment as soon as possible to increase capacity. Taking this approach may solve short-term issues but it could lead to additional problems in the future. Some of the most common mistakes include:
- Sourcing new equipment quickly may require buying from an overseas vendor with little or no local footprint. With no local support, any fault on the equipment could lead to extended downtimes while you have to source spares or wait for repairs.
- If you resort to buying refurbished or used equipment, it could lead to the same problem as above. If you haven’t thoroughly checked the packaging cell, you could run into constant faults that fail to produce the required throughput.
- By buying equipment that only handles your current increase in demand, you may end up in the same situation next year. Ideally, your packaging equipment should also be able to handle any future demand increases.
Question 2: Can the Marijuana Packaging Line Handle Different Formats and/or Labeling Requirements?
Brands that produce different formats like gummies, concentrates, and flower (at varying sizes) will have different packaging requirements for each. Changing over to a different format should be quick, while the line’s overall design should still fit within the available space. You should consider questions like:
- Can the equipment handle different packaging sizes without requiring a lengthy changeover?
- What type of format should take priority and can you integrate upstream or downstream systems to save space?
- Will the packaging cell be able to accommodate any changes in labeling requirements, especially if you are shipping to multiple regions or customers with different regulations or guidelines?
Question 3: Which Integration and Automation Capabilities are Available from the Marijuana Packaging Line Equipment?
Labor costs continue to rise and the line’s design should include automation capabilities that alleviate the need for manual processes. Additionally, if you have conveyors, cappers, palletizers, or other bundling systems, you should evaluate the new equipment to ensure it can integrate with these solutions before investing. To increase the line’s automation, consider equipment like:
- Vision inspection systems that help ensure the packaging and seal quality for each type of format.
- Automated case packers and palletizers to help reduce dependence on manual labor.
- Checkweighers that include automated blow-off or push-off reject to stop you from incurring losses due to shipping too much product per container.
Bonus Question: What is the Best Way to Scale Your Marijuana Packaging Line?
Working with a nutraceutical packaging line integrator is the best strategy to avoid these common pitfalls. Nutra-Pack Systems uses decades of industry experience, and our established network of reliable vendors, to streamline the project and ensure you design a marijuana packaging line that can grow along with your brand.
If you want to scale your marijuana packaging line’s capacity and meet the rising demand for cannabis products in the future, speak to Nutra-Pack Systems today.
PROVEN PACKAGING LINE INTEGRATION EXPERIENCE
Our team of experts hold first-hand experience in the nutraceutical packaging industry and bring application expertise to each project. Our proven industry knowledge ensures we provide optimal nutraceutical packaging solutions.
As an NCC Company, Nutra-Pack proudly brings NCC’s proven 30 years of experience as a full service automation systems integrator to our offering of individual packaging machines, complete preconfigured packaging lines and custom options.