What is Prop 65 and how does it impact cannabis businesses?


The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act — aka Proposition 65 or “Prop 65” — was approved by California voters (63% in favor) in 1986. It requires businesses to disclose exposures to various naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals that are known to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.
Click here for more information on Proposition 65.

Cannabis businesses need to be familiar with which chemicals are listed under the Proposition 65 program, as you’ll most likely need to include the required disclosures on your labels. The list of chemicals continues to evolve, so make sure you stay informed to keep your labels in compliance.



On December 11, scientists with the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) decided:

  • THC poses a risk of reproductive harm 
  • Marijuana smoke poses a risk of reproductive harm
(in addition to cancer, listed in 2009)

Keep reading. We’ve put together a table with potential chemicals in cannabis goods that trigger a Prop 65 warning, as well as action steps to help you comply with the recent changes.

Does my product need a Prop 65 Warning?

Here are some of the Prop 65 listed chemicals that could be in your cannabis or cannabis product.
If your product contains anything on this list, a Prop 65 disclosure must be included on the label.

Could my business be exempt from Prop 65 warning requirements?

Yes, if you have 9 or fewer employees.

What does a Prop 65 warning look like?
Cannabis products may include a short “on-product warning.” Here’s two examples:

WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm


The civil penalty for violating Prop 65 can be as high as $2,500 per violation per day, and enforcement is carried out through civil lawsuits (which may be initiated by a member of the public). Businesses that produce, use, release or otherwise engage in activities involving listed chemicals must comply.
OEHHA provides a one-year grace period before warnings are required, so there is some time to transition to new labels.

We’ve put together some tips to bring your labels into compliance by the end of the grace period:

  1. Plan ahead based on your production rate, package reordering schedule, and how long your product generally remains on retail shelves.
  2. By the time the grace period ends (est. December 2020), your product should have the required disclosure labels.
  3. Revise your labels to include the required Proposition 65 disclosure(s) on future orders.

This email is provided as informational only and does not constitute legal advice.

If you have any questions about compassionate use donations, please contact your attorney directly or call our main line at 877-257-2442.

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