Ever since California became the first state in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, this industry has grown exponentially, with more and more states following suit.
By 2020, medical marijuana industry sales are expected to reach to $13.4 billion – an $8.6M increase from the 2016 sales numbers.
As the medical cannabis industry continues to grow, other industries are tapping into this new market – especially given how heavily regulated the industry is.
This includes TSC Auto-ID Technology and its value-added reseller partners who specialize in medical marijuana labels.
To learn more about how printers and labels fit into the medical marijuana industry, we interviewed Jim Jurek, TSC’s Western Territory Manager, and the leadership team at THC Label Solutions, one of our reseller partners who offers identification and packaging solutions for this industry.
Here’s what we found out.
When did you begin offering medical marijuana label solutions, and what led you to enter this market?
“Since we’re based in California, we saw the opportunity initially,” said George Unger, the Software Engineer at THC Label Solutions. “After seeing the momentum in Colorado, we came up with an idea to get into medical marijuana labeling.”
“We saw an untapped market,” Cameron Brown, the Sales Manager at THC Label Solutions, added. “But we knew that the growers and dispensary owners couldn’t just work with any plain Jane. We understood the industry; we had relationships with some of the top cannabis brand names in Washington State, so it made sense to enter the market when we did in 2014.”
Where are your medical marijuana labels and printers being used today?
“We’re nationwide,” THC Label Solutions Account Manager Matt O’Connor stated. “We have customers in Oregon, Maine, Illinois, Florida – customers all over the nation.”
THC Label Solutions primarily works with growers, local retailers, and manufacturers (producers) who make products like edibles.
What kind of medical marijuana labels and printers do you offer?
“We provide high-quality printing solutions including to help with the identification and labeling from growth to consumption,” Account Manager Jason Ponte from THC Label Solutions said. “We provide a big package solution.”
“But we’re much more than just a printer and label company,” he continued. “We offer the packaging that the labels go on, some hardware – solutions that involve a lot of problem-solving and label applications.”
Tags, Labels & More
THC Label Solutions currently supplies products like pot tags, slip-on tags, custom bags, label applicators, label rewinders, and various labels of different sizes and specifications (including state-specific labels and materials such as vinyl and poly) – among many other products – to their end user clients.
They also offer various horticulture and RFID printer models, including industrial and compact printers, which are white-labeled TSC printers.
THC Label Solutions Bottle Container Label Applicator
THC Label Solutions Pot Tag
THC Label Solutions Thermal Slip-On Plant Wraps
Why TSC? The leadership team at THC Label Solutions had been in label/printing industry for 10-15 years prior to forming their company, and when it came to which printer OEM to partner with, TSC was the logical choice. Thus, a partnership formed for this specific industry.
“Through our partnership with TSC, we work with them to have custom programming and applications so that we can best serve our customers,” Unger explained.
Of TSC’s printer lines, Jim Jurek said that the most success is with the TX600 desktop thermal transfer barcode printer. “The TX600 is great because it has a 600-dpi resolution,” he stated. “Many of the labels require a lot of details, in very small print, so the TX600 is perfect for this application.”
For horticultural plant stakes, customized versions of the TTP-247 Series are widely used. “The desktop barcode printer series provides industry-leading performance at a budget price,” Jurek said.
To see all of the printers available through THC Label Solutions, go here.
How do state regulations affect medical marijuana labels, and how does this impact the industry?
“Of the 31 states that have passed some kind of bill legalizing medical marijuana, each has their own different rules and regulations,” O’Connor said. “The main goal of a lot of states is to track the product from seed to sale. Basically, there’s a significant amount of identification involved in that.”
Traceability, consequently, is very important in this industry. “You need to know where a product like an edible has been throughout its entire journey,” Jurek added. “You need to know how potent it is, the different levels of THC included, etc.”
The industry, therefore, uses medical marijuana extensively, from plant stakes, to labels that are affixed to a package, to labels that are put on bags, bottles, and containers.
Many states even require that certain software be used to track medical marijuana from the point of growth to the point-of-sale. THC Label Solutions writes specific programs for each state that print variable data when customers require.
Why do you think this will continue to be a growing market for labels and printers?
Essentially, as the industry continues to grow as it’s expected to do, not only will there be more opportunity for medical marijuana labels and printers, but the industry will become even more complex.
“The more regulated the industry becomes, the more products will be required to have stringent labels,” said Ponte. “We can expect to see labels and printers continue to have an impact in the industry.”
THC LABEL SOLUTIONS provides high quality custom labels and TSC thermal printers to aid growers, producers, and retailers track and sell products in the marijuana industry. Their team of experts provides top shelf customer service and technical support 24/7.