Whatchu know about Pop Tops?
As often as we see pop tops nowadays, it was once commonplace to (discreetly) get your bud in a plastic zippered sandwich bag (or something smaller). When modern medical marijuana laws began to take hold, beginning with California’s passage of the Compassionate Use Act in 1996, attitudes shifted and child-resistant packaging gradually became the norm for flower. But where does a barely burgeoning industry find specialized products like child-resistant containers?
The answer turned out to be: borrow packaging typically used for storing medicine, in use since the mid- to late-1960s. Different child-resistant packaging failed or succeeded for different reasons. Some styles, such as the push and turn (a.k.a. Palm-n-Turn, push down and turn) and reversible cap, continue to enjoy success even today. One style, however, stood out head and shoulders above the field. Today, it has become ubiquitous with the term cannabis packaging: the child-resistant pop top container.
How To: Pop Tops
Pop top bottles date back to the early 1990s (shout out to Mr. Neil L. Oehlert!). Child-resistant containers in use at the time were all “very aggravating for adults to open in this busy life.” Child resistant pop top vials, instead, could be conveniently opened by simply squeezing the container and forcing out the lid. More technically, apply “opposing pinching forces to the sides of the container. This causes the sides to flex inwardly” and, as a result, release an internal latch.
While this sounds simple – after all, who can’t squeeze? – anyone who has ever used a pop top bottle can likely attest to spending at least a few seconds pondering how to open it the first time they tried. Where do I twist? How do I get under the lid? Do I push on something? The answer, of course, is right there on the cap staring you in the face: “PINCH SIDES HERE TO OPEN.” Apply the right amount of pressure in the right spot and – voila! The reward is comforting “pop!” sound and, in many cases, is subsequently followed by the aroma of fresh bud, resulting in an olfactory orgasm.
The air-tight seal and false lip prevent prying the lid open. Meanwhile, squeezing in the wrong place is simply an exercise in frustration. Always squeeze the sides to open pop top containers and definitely not the hinged-side!
Pop Tops as Compliant Packaging
At Collective Supply, we only carry XIT®-brand pop top bottles. These pop top containers are certified child-resistant. This means that an independent third party has tested this containers in accordance with the protocols specified in 16 CFR sec. 1700.20 to the standards set forth in 16 CFR sec. 1700.15. These XIT® pop tops are CPSC-certified, meet ASTM standards, are already OLCC-approved, and should meet child-resistant packaging requirements in all regulated markets.
As our industry matures, brands will face the same challenges in standing out from competitors as brands in every other industry face. Packaging will likely play an even larger role in brand-awareness, market penetration. Pop top vials are a great platform to customize. The straight walls and the bottles themselves fit well in automatic labeling equipment. With modern printing technology, labels can be as intricate as desired, while still staying compliant with your market’s rules, regs, and requirements. All of this is doable with only a modest bump in cost, to boot!