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Looking for cheap cannabis packaging? Here are three things to consider before buying.

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

Let’s face it. In most business models, everything comes down to the numbers.

How do we source this cheaper?

Are there any corners we could cut?

Can we choose the cheapest option?

Questions like this might sound appealing, but what are you actually getting into? In this post, we’re going to break down three reasons cheap packaging isn’t all that cheap.


1) Quality

The purpose of cannabis packaging relies heavily on quality. To keep products damage-free, box packaging guards the contents against scrapes and drops until it’s purchased by the customer.

Cheap packaging is possible for a multitude of reasons—using thin paper and less glue, to name a couple.

But, as with anything, you get what you pay for. And, when brands choose to purchase cannabis packaging because “it’s cheaper” they could have to start factoring in the costs of things such as damages.

Additionally, when comparing prices, be sure you’re looking at the same thing. For example, not all foil is created equal. Although your quotes might read “gold foil” there can be different types of processes—most commonly, hot stamping. On the other hand, processes such as ours, go through a digital MGI printer. This technique creates a unique raised effect that people can feel and requires no dies.

2) Added Tariffs

It’s no secret that producing products overseas is cheaper than in the US. However, what doesn’t get calculated into your box quote is tariffs and opportunity costs.

Tariffs are taxes that must be paid on products imported into a country before the person making the purchase claims them. And, when applied to large orders, are often up to 30% of what the value of the product is. For example, if you spend $10,000 on your cannabis packaging, there will be an additional $3,000 charge once it’s arrived in the US. Provided customs allow it through…

Since cannabis is not federally legal, customs has the right to confiscate any products (including packaging) labeled for use with marijuana. And, since the products you ordered were technically produced, you could be out the entire amount paid.

Once you’ve factored in tariffs, don’t forget to look at your opportunity costs. From placing an order to production, and final shipment, it can take up to two months to receive your order. During that time, your product is sitting on the shelf, waiting to be sold. However, if sourced domestically, it could cut your packaging production time in half (if not more)!

3) Mistakes, Errors, and Branding

As businesses, we work hard to create a brand. Often your packaging is even a potential customer’s first touch-point with your company—so it’s critical to make a great first impression.

When purchasing cannabis packaging, you need to be sure your printer of choice understands the importance of calibrating the machines and checking Pantone colors. If not, your brand’s colors could be off—even causing a whole new color to be created.

Additionally, with some quick-print shops, what you upload is what you get. That might sound great, but if the artwork and dies are even a fraction of an inch off, could alter an entire design or render the packaging useless.

By choosing someone like GoldLeaf Print & Packaging, you will receive a dedicated Account Executive that will alert you of any inconsistencies or pre-press issues. Then, when the final proof has been approved, you can rest assured you’ll be receiving exactly what you ordered.


At GoldLeaf Print & Packaging, we pride ourselves on being a premium packaging company that specializes in creating custom collateral, packaging, and branding for your cannabis business.

Additionally, since all our operations are based in the USA, you can expect high-quality cannabis packaging with quick turnaround times and no tariffs.

To get started, simply click the contact button in the header or email us directly at



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