Livwell, a chain of Colorado cannabis dispensaries that projects it will do $80m in sales this year, grows and sells a strain of cannabis that gets a $175 per ounce premium (about 50-75% above top-shelf prices) to similar product because of its name, Leafs By Snoop (as in Snoop Dogg). The product line extends beyond flower into extracts and edibles and represents an emerging theme in the cannabis industry: Celebrity branding. Willie Nelson’s “Willie’s Reserve” is another example of this trend.
Differentiating product is a challenge in the cannabis industry, as federal patent protection and trademarking for the product itself are not available. According to NYC patent attorney Eric Greenbaum, “They haven’t issued a single patent yet. But generally speaking there is broad agreement within the patent law community that they will.” Beyond building a brand, state trademarking is an option. According to Sam Kamin, a University of Denver law professor, nearly 700 trade names and 200 trademarks registered that include the word “marijuana” or a synonym in Colorado.
Read Kristen Wyatt’s “Emerging from shadows, pot industry tries to build brands”: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/0508148099374195919f6ae0c35b3da5/emerging-shadows-pot-industry-tries-build-brands