Insa, a Massachusetts-based cannabis grower and retailer, is celebrating the 4/20 marijuana holiday with a new 5-pack for pre-rolled joints, aka cannabis pre-rolls.
The child-resistant package, a durable metal case with a transparent clamshell insert, offers on-the-go convenience and was designed to protect the half-gram pre-rolls in several ways.
The clamshell is molded to the shape of the pre-rolls, holding them securely and protecting against physical damage. In addition, the combination of metal outer pack and rigid plastic inner pack protects the pre-rolls from light and air, crucial concerns for product quality.
Exposure to oxygen and UV light causes oxidation of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabis’ primary psychoactive ingredient, which in turn reduces product potency and freshness. Oxygen also degrades cannabis terpenes, to the detriment of the product’s taste, smell, and effects.
The slim package is also convenient. Measuring 4.5 x 3.5 x 0.5 inches, the case fits easily into a pocket, purse, or backpack. The 5-packs are available in a variety of Insa cultivars.
In this exclusive interview, Brandon Gilmour, brand manager at Insa, tells us all about the redesigned 5-packs.
How airtight is the clamshell is after initial opening?
Gilmour: After initial opening, the clamshell can be resealed to its original position. This protects the pre-rolls from excess airflow, which can lead to plant material drying out and losing its potency.
What is the shelf life of this package for cannabis pre-rolls before initial opening?
Gilmour: The shelf life of this package before initial opening is one year.
How does that compare to competitors?
Gilmour: Shelf life for cannabis products in Massachusetts is determined by the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). The CCC generally requires that the expiration date should be no more than one year from the date of manufacture for pre-rolled cannabis products.
With that said, Insa’s new multipack helps ensure the product remains fresh and protected for the entirety of its shelf life, which we see as a gap in current competitive offerings.
Do the plastic and the metal pieces separate easily for recycling/disposal?
Gilmour: Correct, the inner and outer pieces separate, providing a range of benefits to the consumer. Not only does it enable proper recycling, but it also allows consumers to reuse and repurpose the case as a child-resistant case for other items.
From a manufacturing perspective, the removable insert provides an efficient solution for us to grow the multipack pre-roll offering with new inserts that accommodate smaller and larger quantities of pre-rolls that fit in the existing outer shell.
[Editor’s note: This outer tin can be reused/refilled, but each new cannabis package sold needs to be sealed with child-resistant packaging.]
When did the new 5-pack launch?
Gilmour: The new 5-pack launched in all Massachusetts Insa retail stores on April 5, 2023.
What materials is Insa's cannabis pre-rolls packaging made from?
Gilmour: Outer shell: tinplate and polypropylene. Inner clamshell: ocean plastic material.
Are the packaging materials recyclable?
Gilmour: Yes, the tin and the inner clamshell are recyclable.
Please describe the package’s child-resistant feature.
Gilmour: The child-resistant feature is a three-button system. Buttons are located on the right, left, and bottom sides of the package. They must be pushed simultaneously for the package to open.
How is the package decorated?
Gilmour: The package is printed directly on both internal and external panels. We added our brand personality to the internal panels, with a hidden “Time for More” message that’s revealed after the pre-rolls have been consumed. A spot-UV pattern was also utilized on the outer front panel to enhance the visual appeal and premium aesthetic.
What was Insa’s previous 5-pack pre-roll packaging?
Gilmour: Our old 5-pack was your classic cigarette-style paper package.
How is the new packaging for Insa's cannabis pre-rolls better?
Gilmour: Our new 5-pack is optimized for convenience and preserving the quality of our joints. The protective tinplate outer case does a far better job of protecting the pre-rolls when taking them on the go, and the updated inner clamshell shields them from air exposure, which is critical to preserving the freshness and potency of the product.
How many stock-keeping units (SKUs) are there?
Gilmour: We currently have six SKUs available in the new 5-pack.
How have consumers responded to it?
Gilmour: Sales are just getting started, but the packaging seems to be strongly resonating with our customers and patients. In the few weeks since we’ve launched, we’ve experienced significant growth in demand for our multipacks.
Who designed the new packaging for Insa's cannabis pre-rolls?
Gilmour: The packaging design was a partnership across many teams. For the graphic design, our internal team of Insa designers worked alongside Moxie Sozo, a Colorado-based creative agency, to design a package that not only fit our brand but also enhanced the consumer experience. The structural design was developed with RXD Co.