Marijuana is clearly a big business, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. We all know branding and protecting your trademarks are important for any business. However, for a business dealing with “taboo” products —i.e., marijuana—building a brand and controlling the brand is particularly important.
Unfortunately for both recreational and medical marijuana dispensaries, federal trademarks are simply not an option. Because marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act—which prohibits the manufacture, distribution, possession and sale of marijuana and other drugs—dispensaries are technically violating federal law, even if a state has legalized recreational and medical marijuana use.
Although federal registrations aren’t available for marijuana itself and certain activities surrounding it, there are still several things these companies can do to protect their brands:
- Conduct a Trademark Clearance Search
- File State Trademark Registrations
- File Federal Applications on Ancillary Goods
- File a Federal Intent-to-Use Application and Wait it Out
Read Alex Christian’s “Conflicting State and Federal Laws May Result in Crippling Blows to Business in the Marijuana Industry”: http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/conflicting-state-and-federal-laws-may-17614/