Patent application suggests scratch-and-sniff cannabis packaging is coming
Perhaps because millions of dollars of cannabis is currently being legally bought and sold in the US, it’s sometimes easy to forget that we’re only in the very earliest stages of cannabis packaging and marketing. Cannabis as a plant is very, very old, but cannabis as a legal product, at least in this era, is still fairly new. And so it’s true that there are going to be some really wild ideas that move the landscape forward a lot, and it might be hard to tell those from ideas that are just plain silly. Case in point: A patent application published this week by the US Patent Office shows an idea that would put a scratch-responsive sticker on the outside of a cannabis package. In other words, yes, someone is trying to patent scratch-and-sniff cannabis packaging.
It sounds like a great idea to us! The plan is that the sticker would smell like the cannabis inside the secure package (though it wouldn’t include the THC from the plant itself. The scent would either be made with terpenes from the actual plant (you know what terpenes are, right?) or would combine a few smells from elsewhere (like freshly cut grass, bacon, or aftershave, just a few of the examples listed) to give an indication of what the sample smells like.
There’s also a practical reason for this: Right now, many states require secure packaging even at point of sale for cannabis dispensaries, meaning it’s not always easy for customers to smell the actual bud they’re buying (usually, dispensaries will have a separate sample to smell, and a nefarious vendor could use different samples if they wanted to rip off customers). This type of packaging still relies on trust a little bit, but it could let the customer smell a scent, at least, that comes directly from what they’re planning to buy.
The two people applying for the patent are based up in Olympia, Washington. If their idea works as well as it sounds, you might see some scratch-and-sniff packaging on the shelf at your local dispensary soon.