FMI’ Analyst view: ‘The art of cannabis packaging: The industry is likely to garner a valuation of $7 billion by 2033’


The global cannabis packaging equipment market is anticipated to accumulate a market value of US$ 1.4 billion in 2023 and is expected to garner a valuation of US$ 6.7 billion by exhibiting a CAGR of 16.9 % in the forecast period 2023 to 2033. The cannabis packaging equipment market reflected a growth of 12.2 % CAGR in the historical period 2018 to 2022.

The cannabis packaging equipment market is expected to reflect notable growth in the coming years, owing to the growing demand for medical and recreational cannabis products. The increasing legalization of cannabis in various countries will likely fuel the demand for cannabis packaging machines.

High-speed automated packaging, which is common in conventional food and beverage packaging operations, did not appear to be gentle enough in product handling to package delicate cannabis buds at the initial stage, but equipment manufacturers collaborated with cannabis companies to develop systems that could efficiently automate the sorting, weighing, and packaging process at a fast speed. 

As a result, automated procedures tailored to the needs of cannabis bud packaging are progressively being created, thereby creating demand for cannabis packaging equipment.

Besides this, to make the cannabis packaging child-resistant, tamper evident with a tearing element or pop-up indicator that indicates when a product has been opened, and resalable for multi-serving products, the packaging equipment is finding extensive use. 

Also, the packaging must be opaque (to conceal the contents) and should mention the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) per serving in milligrams. With their easily accessible and resalable features for customers, many products in North America have been witnessing a trend for adopting pouches and bags as packaging solutions.

As cannabis legalisation gains momentum, these pouches will undoubtedly become more popular in the cannabis packaging industry. Getting the items into the pouches is only the initial step in the packaging process. 

It's equally important to take those pouches and pack them properly into secondary packaging and shipping cases for efficient distribution. For serving this purpose, cannabis packaging equipment’s widely utilized to offer child-proof and fast packaging solutions. This trend will boost the demand for these automated machines during the forthcoming period.

On the other hand, growing concerns about sustainability are also affecting packing choices which are indirectly driving product demand. Since the medical cannabis industry has adopted more colourful and premium bottle packaging, there is rising concern about the environmental impact of plastic bottles. 

Due to these concerns, many medical cannabis packaging manufacturers are on the lookout for environmentally friendly flexible pouches and bags. Folding cartons, pouches, and bags are anticipated to witness considerable expansion as the popularity of edibles grows.

Packaging suppliers will benefit from containers that offer product differentiation, like high-quality graphics and a premium appearance. Containers like glass bottles, vials, metal tins, and specialty packaging such as cloth bags are a few examples. For inculcating these features in the product packaging, automated packaging equipment is required which increases their market value and demand in the market. 

Apart from this, modifications in legal cannabis packaging and labelling requirements can act as a market restraint for cannabis packaging equipment. Upgrading machines with new technology and remaining compliant with packaging rules are two more difficulties that cannabis packaging equipment manufacturers face around the world.

Region-wise, North America is expected to dominate the market by commanding over 62% market share by end of the forecast period. This region is one of the major contributors to the worldwide cannabis industry. The growth is attributed to the increasing adoption and farming of cannabis in countries such as Canada and the United States.

The recent shift in the regulatory landscape has led to more people using medicinal cannabis to manage conditions like chronic pain, PTSD, depression, social anxiety, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy, all linked to changing lifestyles. This is expected to increase the sales of cannabis packaging equipment in sync with rising sales of cannabis in this region.

In addition, due to these stringent laws, suppliers must comply with proper safety control methods and provide consumers with high-quality products. This purpose can be easily fulfilled by employing automated packaging equipment in the packaging process.

Likewise, the market in Europe is expected to reflect the fastest CAGR of 17.1% during the forecast period. The legalisation of cannabis is accelerating in Europe with its growing use in the medical sector which is driving growth in the region. The European Court of Justice announced in November 2020 that CBD is not a narcotic substance under EU law, paving the way for future CBD markets. 

A few weeks later, the United Nations finally accepted cannabis' medical potential by removing the plant and its derivatives from Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, with all European countries voting in favour except Hungary. This development is further expected to thrive growth in cannabis packaging equipment in the region.

How Competitive is the Market?

Recent developments and breakthroughs in technology, mergers, acquisitions, tie-ups, and partnerships within the companies involved in manufacturing cannabis packaging equipment are expected to create lucrative opportunities for market growth during the forecast period.

In January 2022, Origin Pharma Packaging introduced a piece of packaging dedicated to the medicinal cannabis industry, a child-proof Jar to support the 'flower’ product, which is often prescribed in certain European countries.

In November 2021, The Niagara Herbalist, an independent cannabis store in St. Catharine’s, Ontario introduced a packaging buyback program. It began to buy back empty cannabis packages by providing customers with store credits after similar programs offer cash for empty alcohol containers. The store is giving customers a store credit of 10 Canadian cents (8 U.S. cents) for bottles or glass jars and Canadian US$ 0.05 for plastic jars and another recyclable outer packaging, such as cardboard containers and plastic pre-roll or vaporizer containers.

How Is Customization in Cannabis Packaging Reshaping the Market for Cannabis Packaging Equipment?

Cannabis usage is well-established in the pharmaceutical sector and is eyeing growth opportunities in sectors like health & wellness and other industrial sectors. The accelerating demand for cannabis in the market is constantly impelling the efficiency of cannabis packaging from the manufacturers.

Cannabis packaging equipment manufacturers are offering automatic machines to help packaging manufacturers with increased speed and productivity in cannabis packaging. Other factors like reducing wastage at the packaging stage and weighing solutions with greater accuracy are provided by cannabis packaging equipment manufacturers.

What are the Key Opportunities for Cannabis Packaging Equipment Manufacturers?

Cannabis packaging mainly serves two major purposes, one being the protection of the product packed inside and the other being branding of the product. Increasing consumption of cannabis in the form of chocolates, cannabis-infused butter and other health & wellness products is forcing packaging companies to increase and improve packaging productions.

This proves as a huge opportunity for cannabis packaging equipment manufacturers as they’re approaching the arcade with new, innovative and customized designs to establish dominance in the global market.

Why will the North America Generate Significant Demand for the Cannabis Packaging Equipment Market?

The increase in cannabis legalization in North America for its recreational as well as medical purposes has resulted in the region holding the largest market share in the global cannabis packaging equipment market.

The demand for cannabis packaging equipment market is comparatively higher in North America followed by Europe which is growing rapidly and showing massive potential due to the extensive use of cannabis in the region for medical purposes.

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