Cannabis-Based Businesses and Trademark Law
Despite marijuana being legal in some form in 43 States and territories, there continues to be a prohibition on securing a federal trademark registration for any marijuana-based products. Why? Because marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under federal law. The conflict between the ever-growing number of state laws legalizing the sale and use of marijuana and cannabis-based products, and the archaic federal prohibition have created major issues for CBD business owners. This is because CBD products typically contain a certain amount of THC (the active ingredient in marijuana). As a result, a business selling CBD products is generally prohibited from securing a trademark under law.
Steps Toward Progress
Congress recently passed legislation that was intended to help ease the restrictions on trademarks for certain types of CBD products. The legislation was part of the massive 2018 Farm Bill. Specifically, the Farm Bill removed hemp and hemp-derived products from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
After the Farm Bill was signed into law, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a memo emphasizing that it would not register trademarks for applicants selling any goods and services that violate federal law. Nevertheless, the USPTO officially stated that applications for trademarks related to products that meet the definition of hemp will now be reviewed and accepted by the federal agency, subject to certain exceptions.
The new regulations stipulate that you can now pursue federal trademark registration for a hemp-based product if it meets the following standards:
- The product contains less than 0.3% THC (dry weight);
- The product is derived from hemp;
- The product is NOT an oil;
- The product is NOT a food or beverage;
- The product is NOT a dietary supplement; and
- The product is NOT a pet treat.
Many CBD business owners have raised legitimate complaints about the narrow and rigid the current regulations are to secure a federal trademark. If a business is unable to trademark a CBD-based oil, food, beverage, pet treat, etc. there is not much left that can be trademarked.
If you own a business selling CBD products, do not throw your hands up in despair. There are ways to protect the trademark of your CBD business. For example, there is a Trademark Registration System within each state. This means a CBD business can legally secure a state trademark registration in those states where CBD products are legally offered for sale.
Once you secure the State-level trademark, you will be empowered with the legal right to prevent competitors from using the trademark of your CBD business.
Have Questions? Contact an Experienced Trademark Attorney in Los Angeles Today
As you can see, the rules and regulations related to securing a trademark are complex and vary greatly at both the state and federal level. Hence, it is in your best interest to retain the services of a reputable and experienced trademark attorney such as the professionals at Omni Legal Group. Omni Legal Group is a premier Patent, Trademark, and Copyright law firm located in Los Angeles. For further information or to schedule a consultation please contact Omni Legal Group at 855.433.2226 or visit www.OmniLegalGroup.com to learn more.