As a business owner, you likely already understand the importance of protecting your brand. Among other things, a strong brand means greater value and increased customer loyalty. But as a canna-business owner, given the tensions between state and federal regulations, brand protection can be challenging, particularly when it comes to trademark law.
You may know how difficult it is to obtain a federal trademark registration for cannabis products, and perhaps you’ve given up pursuing one. But have you considered a state trademark registration? As more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana, many are also allowing state trademark protection for cannabis products. While there are certainly drawbacks to state trademark registrations (no national protection, and state trademark offices often lack procedural safeguards), they also have many benefits. State trademark registrations are typically inexpensive, and they’re a matter of public record which means they put other users on notice of your claim of trademark rights. In some states, a trademark registration provides the owner with a legal presumption that the trademark is valid and enforceable, enabling vigorous brand enforcement rights.
We’ve created this chart as a place to begin when considering a state trademark registration strategy. It lists some of the key states currently offering trademark protection for cannabis products, along with information on who can apply, how the state trademark office will review your application, and what kind of legal presumption you can expect from a registration.
Once you’ve reviewed it, feel free to contact us. We can help you figure out the best approach for your business.