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  • Writer's pictureTamara Pester

Cannabis Trademark Alert: Now is the Time to Protect Your Brand and Increase Your Cannabis Company Value

Attention Cannabis Companies Seeking Funding: a trademark can increase your cannabis company value!

Protecting your brand is essential for long-term success. A trademark can dramatically affect what a company is worth, and protected trademarks can increase cannabis company valuation as well. As a trademark attorney, I have seen the importance of securing trademark registrations early on, especially in a rapidly growing and evolving industry like cannabis. The current landscape of the cannabis sector, coupled with the specific timeline of trademark applications and registrations, presents a prime opportunity to safeguard your cannabis-related brand and .

For more information on how to increase the value of your company by securing a trademark registration, click here to schedule a call with our team.

Why Act Now? Increase your cannabis company value

Currently, the process for trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) takes approximately 8-9 months before your application is assigned to an Examining Attorney and reviewed, and about 12-13 months overall. If you apply as an intent-to-use application, you will have up to three years to file a Statement of Use (extending every 6 months) after your application is approved for registration. This timeline presents a unique opportunity for cannabis businesses to get ahead of the curve. Here’s why NOW is the perfect time to take the next step:

  • Regulatory Momentum: With changing regulations and increasing legalization across states and President Biden’s indication that Federal decriminalization may be on the way, the cannabis market is poised for significant growth. Establishing your trademark by "getting in line" for a registration with the USPTO now ensures you have the legal protections in place as the market expands.

  • Legislation: The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) may reschedule cannabis after an extensive factual inquiry in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). On May 21, 2024, the DEA issued its formal notice of proposed rulemaking for the rescheduling. Comments may be submitted electronically or postmarked on or before July 22, 2024. There will then be administrative hearings, DEA review, and final rulemaking. This process can last from months to years, and can be stymied by activist lawsuits seeking to block the rescheduling effort. The most recent rescheduling of a substance under the CSA was in 2014.  It moved hydrocodone-combination products from classification as a Schedule III substance to classification as a Schedule II substanceIn that case, the formal rulemaking process lasted five years.

  • Brand Identity: As competition increases, distinguishing your company name and product lines through a recognized brand becomes vital. A registered trademark helps solidify your brand identity and can prevent others from using similar marks (or entitle you to enhanced damages if they do).

  • Legal Protections: A trademark gives you exclusive rights to use your brand name, logo, or slogan in connection with the goods or services you sell. It allows you to take legal action against any infringements, ensuring that your brand's reputation remains intact.

  • Market Positioning: Early trademark registration can be a strategic advantage. It can enhance your market position, making your brand more attractive to investors, partners, and customers.

  • Future-Proofing: As the cannabis industry continues to mature, having a registered trademark will be a critical asset. It can provide leverage in potential mergers, acquisitions, or expansions.

Ready to Protect Your Brand?

If you're a cannabis company with a vision for the future and a budget for growth, there's no better time than now to start the trademark registration process. Let's work together to ensure your brand's place in this evolving industry and make sure your company gets a "high value."

Contact me today to get started on your trademark application. I’m here to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring your brand is protected for years to come.

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