Some view the United States cannabis marketplace as a series of micro industries, with each state, county, and local government maintaining its own regulations. This forces many companies to focus on the regional markets within which they’ve become comfortable working. For specialty packaging provider Chubby Gorilla Inc., adhering to regulations in any one city or state is not enough. With a corporate motto of “engineered for a purpose, designed for a purpose,” the company is defined by its dedication to a rigorous research-and-development process that yields product innovation designed to meet a broad range of regulatory requirements, including child-resistant containers for regulated substances.
Chubby Gorilla has developed packaging for vaporizer liquids in more than 100 countries. The company also serves food and beverage companies, adhesive makers, and tattoo ink providers. Operating globally from its headquarters in Southern California, the company maintains a 400,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in China and warehouses serving customers in the Netherlands, Middle East, and North Africa.
“All of our products are uniquely engineered products,” said co-founder and Vice President Eyad Aboabdo. “We put a lot of time, effort, funding, and research into the development of these products, from the testing of different materials to executing regulatory testing requirements. We maintain over 600 patents and community designs published globally.”
One thread that remains consistent throughout the company’s global footprint: Everything starts with compliance. In cannabis, or any other industry that deals in regulated substances, being noncompliant is a recipe for going out of business.
“Compliance, for Chubby Gorilla, begins at the start of engineering our products and then to the materials we use, manufacturing process, and testing of all our packaging solutions,” Aboabdo said. “With our approach, we don’t have to wait on government agencies to be told what is right. Chubby Gorilla goes above and beyond in terms of quality and safety.”
The approach is desperately needed. A study recently published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics found the number of children under the age of 5 accidentally poisoned by edibles has soared by 1,375 percent since 2017.
Such statistics are one of the reasons Chubby Gorilla entered the cannabis market.
“We identified a clear need for quality products,” Aboadbdo said. “Specifically, we wanted to offer products with compliant child-resistant features that have been tested with supporting data. We knew we could provide something better than generic products that are obviously off-the-shelf solutions already existing on the market with producers making vague child-resistant claims without any supporting data to substantiate their words.”
Chubby Gorilla produces child-resistant containers for cannabis products including flower, pre-rolls, blunts, and edibles. The company also makes special containers to store and help keep pre-roll multipacks fresh.
“These containers have fastened-tamper bands and gapless surface seals all cleverly integrated into our container’s SmartCap closures,” Aboabdo said.
The company also ensures the outside of its containers serves as valuable real estate for promotional messages.
“Since we are a direct manufacturer, we can create packaging with specific Pantone colors, direct printing, matte, frosted, laser etched, spot UV, foil, or metallic chrome effects and finishes,” Aboadbdo said. “The options are nearly limitless, and our team is here to support clients through every step of the customization process.”
But in every industry Chubby Gorilla serves, the company’s goals are far more ambitious than just offering a line of quality products. The company stands shoulder to shoulder with industry members, becoming involved in advocacy and influencing change.
“When Chubby Gorilla enters an industry, we look at the industry from the perspective of the packaged contents, the consumer, the co-packer, and the retail stores,” Aboabdo said. “We incorporate ourselves into the industry, whether it’s through advocacy and associations, trade shows, community activism, or strategic alliances. We are all in.
“We are currently active members of the United States Cannabis Council and a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association,” he added.
Aboabdo and his crew also are dedicated to sustainability in sourcing, manufacturing, and disposal of their products.
“Our facility is ISO14001-certified, which is an environmental standard that strictly ensures we are disposing of our manufacturing waste appropriately per international standards,” he said. “Next, at the end of our product’s life cycle, our packaging is recyclable, and we encourage community recycling programs and efforts.”
Chubby Gorilla also demonstrates its commitment to social responsibility in an extraordinary way. The company works alongside the Congolese community to promote the conservation of wild gorillas and their habitat. Talk about staying on brand.
“To date, we have adopted two gorillas, Pinga and Kighoma, to our Chubby Gorilla family with plans to continue to adopt more in the future,” Aboabdo explained. “With these efforts and more on the way, it will undoubtedly help us toward our goal of reducing and eventually reversing our impact on the environment.”