The California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) has, to say the least, some very strict cannabis labeling regulations. Earlier this year, I wrote about how the CDPH’s new rules were likely to create a mess in California and then how the California cannabis agencies sought to relieve some of the burdens on the industry by pushing back their expectations on compliance. While this gave cannabis companies a bit of wiggle room, it didn’t change any of the non-cannabis labeling requirements out there, like Proposition 65 (which we’ve written about recently here, here, and here).
One of the more obscure labeling issues concerns certain cannabis-containing beverages. Earlier this year, the CDPH released this FAQ for cannabis labeling, which states in part:
CRV Recycling (for beverages, if applicable) – Beverage manufacturers are responsible for labeling qualifying beverage containers with recycling information. For more information, visit https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/bevcontainer.
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery—also known as CalRecycle—administers the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Act (“Beverage Act”), which for relevant purposes creates a California Redemption Value (“CRV”) for certain covered beverages. The CRV is 5 cents for containers under 24 oz., 10 cents for containers 24 oz. or greater (for people recycling the cans, not cannabis manufacturers). Containers that are eligible for CRV include:
- Beer and Malt Beverages
- Wine Coolers
- Carbonated Fruit Drinks,
Water, or Soft Drinks
- Noncarbonated Fruit
Drinks, Water, or Soft
- Coffee and Tea Beverages
- 100% Fruit Juice less than 46 oz.
- Vegetable Juice 16 oz. or less
The Beverage Act imposes numerous obligations on beverage manufacturers and distributors, including include on labels of certain qualifying beverages the terms “CA Redemption Value”, “California Redemption Value”, “CA Cash Refund”, “California Cash Refund”, or “CA CRV”.
Requirements for cannabis beverage manufacturers, distributors, and sellers can be complex—both under the Beverage Act and California cannabis law generally. It’s important for cannabis beverage companies to consult with counsel when creating packaging and labeling for any kind of cannabis product.