Butzel Long attorney Thomas Southard quoted in Crain's Detroit Business article on cannabis intellectual property

Crain's Detroit Business
Sunday, September 29, 2019

Proprietary pot: Cannabis trademarks aren't legal, but workarounds exist to protect IP

Dustin Walsh
Crain's Detroit Business

The state's largest marijuana grower plans to launch a line of edible gummies this fall — without enough tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, to get you high.

Dimondale-based Green Peak Innovations will launch its branded Jolly Edibles as a CBD-only product, meaning it contains less than 0.3 percent THC. While CBD products are popular, the choice has more to do with protecting its branding than selling gummies.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office bars trademarks on illicit products. Marijuana remains a Schedule 1 narcotic at the federal level, despite being legal for use in Michigan. This presents a tricky scenario for the state's legal marijuana companies seeking to protect their intellectual property.

Green Peak, like many others in the industry, is enforcing its protections in as many "workarounds" as possible, local experts say.

Click here to read the complete article in Crain's Detroit Business (subscription may be required).

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