Doctors for Cannabis Regulation call for universal weed symbol

cannabis warning symbol doctors for cannabis regulation

The piecemeal approach to cannabis legalization throughout the United States and the world has led to a number of challenges. From regulatory confusion to a serious lack of consistency in product quality, there a number of issues at hand.

For example, spotting a green cross outside of a building in America typically means a medical cannabis dispensary is inside. However, the same sign in many parts of Europe tells you a regular old pharmacy awaits.

One group of healthcare professionals is working on ways to help bring cohesion to cannabis. Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR) is an advocacy group dedicated to “legalization and science-based regulation of cannabis.” 

Billed as the universal voice of physicians, the organization offers education and thought leadership meant to help progress the cannabis industry around the world.

In a recent statement, DFCR called for the universal adoption of an “international cannabis product symbol.” It pointed to the mixed bag of figures on various marijuana packages across the country, saying that one cohesive symbol would help protect consumers overall.

“To prevent accidental ingestion by adults and (especially) children, cannabis product packages should bear a symbol that enables people of all ages and backgrounds to identify intoxicating cannabinoids with a quick glance at a product package,” the statement said.

The DFCR also pointed to potential interstate business as another argument for the adoption of standardized packaging.

“To facilitate recognition and promote future interstate commerce, a well-designed cannabis product symbol should be harmonized across regional, state, and national borders, transcending language and culture.”

Officials at cannabis regulatory bodies were also mentioned in the DFCR statement since the widespread use of a symbol like this may help highlight a commitment to the consumer.

“A truly universal cannabis product symbol is a simple and highly visible indicator of whether cannabis regulators are employing best practices to promote public health and safety.”

Other groups, such as ASTM (previously known as the American Society for Testing and Materials), have been working on setting standards for the cannabis industry. They argue that standardization will help both consumers and operators alike, ensuring that products are safe, effective, and consistent. 

It’s likely that federal marijuana legalization would make the adoption of these standards obligatory, and by setting the bar high now, operators can expect a smoother transition if and when reform happens.

rachelle gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist, Emerald Cup judge, Budist critic, and editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter