Zenlock Child-Resistant Packaging


1070 Stewart Dr, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA

Design: Zenpack / Haptik Studio
Location: United States
Project Type: Produced
Client: Zenlock
Product Launch Location: Americas
Packaging Contents: Cannabis
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Rigid box, paper
Printing Process: Lithographic printing

The Zenlock Child-Resistant system is the first all-paper rigid box solution in cannabis packaging.

In 2020, California passed regulations requiring that all cannabis products must be enclosed in child-resistant packaging. After analyzing the legislature, other CR packages and testing requirements, the results were clear: too much plastic and too many overly complicated CR mechanisms. The three design requirements also became clear: recycled and recyclable materials only, elevated product presentation, and a flexible CR mechanism to accommodate diverse needs for cannabis products.

Most child-resistant mechanisms on the market are physically and cognitively difficult to operate. While inhibiting children is the goal, physically challenging packaging can affect broader accessibility. In response, the industry needed human-centered packaging featuring a mechanism that is sensitive and discrete without being physically taxing. After multiple prototypes with simple 2-part opening sequences, the final Zenlock system was born. It balances graphics and mechanics to be intuitive for adults yet impenetrable to young hands.

The mechanism and instructional graphics are strategically placed so that the entire box can be used for branding with high-quality print finishes. The rigid box also provides structure and stability, giving weight to the premium goods inside. And every Zenlock box is constructed using post-consumer recycled paper.

Zenlock is a system of pre-certified cannabis packages made using mainly paper products. In an industry dependent upon plastic child-resistant mechanisms, Zenlock stands out as an all-paper solution that can be recycled along with the most common household paper products, including newspapers and paper pulp. The packages are made using post-consumer recycled material without the need for any specialized manufacturing processes. The flexible design allows for the most compact box for different scenarios, limiting dead space and material waste. Only soy-based inks are used for printing. Additionally, the sturdy boxes can be reused while maintaining their child-resistant functionality.

In May 2021, Zenlock won Third Place in the Plastic-Free Packaging category of The Dieline Awards presented by Adobe.