As cannabis and hemp production continue to gain momentum in the American marketplace, the need for efficient and industry-tailored solutions has become urgent. Proper processing, packaging, and storage solutions are essential to the operation and viability of professional cannabis businesses.
Finding the right containers for bucking is essential. But beyond that, cannabis and hemp producers are now facing a wide array of processing containers and long-term storage solutions. Packaging plays an integral role in the cannabis processing and storage.
For cannabis processing, every detail matters. Controlling the heat, gaseous discharge, moisture content, and oxygen exposure has a direct impact on the decarboxylation and the subsequent quality of the final product. Protecting the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol from destructive pyrolysis and degradative oxidation has a profound impact the bottom line. And amid all of this, the universal factors of ease of use, configuration, and longterm value remain.
There are many differences in long-term cannabis packaging solutions, each providing unique advantages. As the leading provider of reusable agricultural packaging, we are happy to provide our expert perspective on the pros and cons of the top long-term cannabis storage solutions.
Reusable Cannabis Intermediate Bulk Containers
Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) are an agricultural and production standard. They provide food-grade and medical-grade storage. Additionally, they produce incredible operational efficiency; they’re lighter than metal containers, stronger than bags, and they’re more durable than corrugated packaging. Plus, many styles of IBCs stack safely and they can collapse or nest when empty to optimize their own shipping and storage costs.
As it pertains to cannabis storage, IBCs provide a unique advantage: security. IBCs often accommodate security locks. They’re among the most tamper proof storage solutions.
Additionally, due to their unparalleled structural strength, puncture resistance, and reinforced walls, IBCs provide secure stacking. The ability to stack full bins in multiple heights provides unparalleled warehouse efficiency. And IBCs also reduce product damage and loss due to crushing. And their solid walls and lids provide a degree of thermal insulation not found in poly bag storage solutions.
39 x 31 x 38 – 105 Gallon IBC
A favorite of cannabis producers, this IBC features airtight seals, a multi-access lid, and a gas-release valve. This IBC doesn’t require a liner, eliminating waste entirely. The unique raised footed base design allows each bin to be opened and its contents accessed, assessed, and measured — all without having to unstack the IBCs resting on top of it.
Cannabis Vacuum Packaging
Vacuum packaging provides cannabis processors with control over environmental exposure to their product. By withdrawing atmospheric air and moisture, cannabis maintains its quality longer. Producers likewise benefit from calculable degrees of control over the curing and preservation of their product.
Vacuum packaging for cannabis generally makes use of mid-sized, free-standing packers. These machines typically accommodate product bags holding up to two cubic feet. They remove the atmosphere and use heat to hermetically seal the bags.
Vacuum poly bags are the most lightweight packaging solution available. They’re fully recyclable. Using vacuum sealing for cannabis also provides a malleable container for the preservation, storage, and shipping of products. The packaging can be shaped to fit a wide array of spaces and processes.
21 x 20 x 8 Chamber Modified Atmosphere Packer
Perfect for small packers, this machine provides incredible ease of use. It’s a fully-contained, free-standing workstation. It is able to accommodate cannabis and hemp in capacities over 1.8 cubic feet. As an added value, this packer also provides the functionality for gas flushing for modified atmosphere packaging (see below).
Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP)
Building upon the foundation of vacuum packaging, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) raises the level of control and protection to the highest levels. Machine packers equipped with the ability to produce MAP are able to:
- remove unwanted environmental air and contaminants;
- flush the pre-sealed bags with desired gasses; and
- hermetically seal the gas-flushed poly bags
This combination: vacuuming, flushing, and sealing produces the longest shelf life for cannabis products. It provides direct and measured control of decarboxylation, allowing optimal management of cannabinolic acid and subsequent THC.
As with vacuum packaging alone, MAP machine packers range in sizes and generally make use of poly bags. They can be set to operate as freestanding workstations, in conjunction with automated conveyors, or as free-moving roll-around machines. Larger packers are able to accommodate the bags and liners of pallet-sized bulk containers, IBCs, and tanks. Once sealed, the packages can either exist as a self-contained bail or be allowed to remain within the protection of a case, bulk container, or other such storage device.
Mark III Modified Atmosphere Packer
Perfect for high-quantity packers, this machine provides incredible ease of use. This model works with a variety of container sizes, including individual bags, lined cases, bulk bins, totes, gaylords, barrels, or super-sacks. It provides incredible efficiency with multi-gas flushing and vacuum options. It features a bag stretcher, which ensures your bags remain wrinkle free, and its 100% stainless steel construction keep it easily FSMA, FDA, and USDA compliant.
While these are a few of our favorite and most popular cannabis and hemp storage options, there are many to choose from. Our team of experts would love to learn more about your operation and to help you find the perfect solutions. For a full product consultation, please contact our team today. Additionally, please consider browsing for ideas and learning more in our: