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Marijuana Packaging History

From ziploc bags and cellophanes, to prescription-like bottles and high-tech bags... marijuana packaging has a long history. With legalization and technology accelerating wholesale packaging options along the way.

So how has the marijuana packaging world gone from repurposed to regulatory compliant, over its’ period of existence? Let’s take a look at how far cannabis has come in being packed up for consumption.


Past tense pot 

Marijuana packaging dates back to the mid-late 1800’s when airtight tin containers were the chosen package for pharmaceutical companies Park Davis & Company., and S.B. Penick & Company. Now known as Pfizer and Siegfried Ltd.

1oz.(left), bulk Tin containers (right) | Source:

Imagine this... before the modern war on drugs, cannabis was actually commonly used in the US. Even purchased at apothecaries and general stores in the era of 1850-1915. This is when the budding marijuana industry moved to packaging the product in ceramic jars for sale.

Speaking of this era, one of the first laws pertaining to cannabis was drafted in the early 1900's, as well. Even more, it had to do with packaging. The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 regulated the labeling of products that contained alcohol, opiates, cocaine and cannabis.

Shortly after, packaging cannabis went underground while marijuana was classified as a controlled substance, and illegal nationwide.


Keeping it fresh

But that doesn’t mean the world stopped learning about how to keep bud fresh. Which is one reason why the weed packaging world has caught up so quickly, with widening legalization.

Illegally or legally, over time marijuana users found keeping your flower or nugs exposed to light or heat, caused an adverse reaction like growing mold. And no one wants to smoke moldy bud.

Which leads to the emergence of mylar bags. Far from commonly used transparent kitchen plastic bags, mylar has been the material of choice for keeping marijuana fresh.

All about that bag

Mylar came onto the market in the 1950’s and was used in space missions with NASA. It’s popular among the food packaging world, which made its’ transition to cannabis natural for the same effects.

The sturdy material protects marijuana from air, reduces scent and significantly increases shelf life. Making it the most common choice for packaging cannabis today.

In addition, mylar is making history in the modern world of packaging, for its’ protection to light. Studies have shown THC can be degraded when exposed to ultraviolet light.

But the innovative mylar bags used for marijuana packaging today, have an opaque finish to further protect potency.

Legal & law abiding

Another benefit of mylar bags and other new packaging options like screw top vials, are being regulatory compliant. Which is important with legalization federally for CBD, and state legalization for medical and recreational use ever-increasing.

Examples of these requirements are child proof, tamper evident, resealable, opaque in material among others. Wholesale options like the bags and vials we mentioned, are trending in popularity as they check off all the boxes for widespread packaging guidelines.

Product expansion

Lastly, today’s weed industry has moved beyond just packaging flower. From edibles, wax, shatter and more...packaging options keep expanding along with the expansion of products.

For all your products and cannabis package needs, MJ Wholesale has a long history in the market too. From old school, traditional or modern options, check out our wholesale selection fit for your brand and modern day trends or requirements.

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