Legal Insights

Perspectives on Cannabis, Hemp, Beverage and Psychedelic Law

Workplace misconduct -- such as health and safety violations, retaliation, drug and alcohol use, and theft or fraud -- ranks among the most important legal challenges a cannabis or beverage company might encounter
Labor & Employment
Josh Zetlin

Investigate Workplace Misconduct…Don’t Turn a Blind Eye!

The mountain of legal issues facing businesses in regulated industries often seems overwhelming. But, thoughtful management can utilize an important tool – internal investigations – to uncover and mitigate potential workplace-related liabilities before they spiral out of control.  What is Workplace Misconduct? Workplace misconduct — such as health and safety violations, retaliation, drug and alcohol use, and theft or fraud

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Trademark Opposition for Cannabis and Beverage Businesses
Intellectual Property
Josh Zetlin

Trademark Opposition Proceedings for Cannabis and Beverage Businesses

Trademarks represent important corporate assets of all consumer-facing companies, especially those in highly regulated industries, like the cannabis or beverage industries.  The intellectual property comprising a company’s brand sets a business apart from its competitors and can even help overcome the stigma traditionally associated with many highly regulated industries. An important aspect of creating, owning and utilizing these important intellectual

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Are Baseless Claims of Terpene Drift a Valid Legal Concern for Cannabis Cultivators?
Disputes & Litigation
Josh Zetlin

Are Claims of Terpene Drift and Taint a Legal Concern for Cannabis Cultivators?

Cannabis Terpenes in Wine? Recently, the cannabis industry has been beset by claims from vineyards and other agricultural interests that “terpene drift” and “terpene taint” from cannabis risks harming grapes and affecting the taste of wine. This often represents a clash between legacy agriculture (vineyards) and new upstarts (cannabis cultivators) in regions traditionally associated with wine. However, despite the vocal

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The USPTO can send an office action, listing any legal problems with the chosen trademark and application, in response to a cannabis company's federal trademark application.
Intellectual Property
Josh Zetlin

Responding to USPTO Office Actions – Challenges for Cannabis Companies

USPTO trademark registrations are an important way for cannabis companies to protect and grow their brands nationally.  While cannabis companies still cannot register trademarks that identify goods or services related to manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, and possessing cannabis and cannabis-based preparations because cannabis, and its psychoactive component, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), remain classified as Schedule I controlled substances under the federal Controlled Substances

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Cannabis Businesses Should Secure Federal Trademarks to Protect Their Intellectual Property.
Intellectual Property
Josh Zetlin

How Cannabis Companies Can Protect Their Intellectual Property In The Event Of Federal Legalization

On July 1, 2021, when the State of Virginia’s and the State of Connecticut’s cannabis legalization took effect , 18 states across the nation had legalized adult-use cannabis. With positive momentum on states legalizing recreational cannabis, as well as clear and repeated assertions from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), it’s not farfetched to assume that nationwide legalization is on

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Force Majeure Clauses: Pandemic-Proofing Cannabis & Hemp Industry Contracts in California
Corporate & Transactional
Josh Zetlin

Force Majeure Clauses: Pandemic-Proofing Cannabis & Hemp Industry Contracts in California

Due to government-issued shutdowns, quarantines, and employee wellness concerns,  industries worldwide are facing severe declines in productivity. While the world waits for a COVID-19 vaccine, as cannabis and hemp industry operators, you might have a lot of questions about whether or not your business is obligated to perform under its contracts in this time of crisis. Something called a “force

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USPTO Trademark Extensions due to COVID-19 Present an Opportunity for Cannabis and Hemp Companies.
Intellectual Property
Josh Zetlin

USPTO Trademark Extensions due to COVID-19 Present an Opportunity for Cannabis and Hemp Companies

As the COVID-19 pandemic sends shockwaves through society and impacts all businesses–including those in the cannabis and hemp industries–in countless ways, trademarks often take a back seat to more pressing concerns. Recognizing that trademarks nonetheless remain crucial assets of many businesses, the federal government recently took action in a way that stands to affect trademark matters for many cannabis and hemp

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Trademark Infringement in the Cannabis Industry
Intellectual Property
Josh Zetlin

Trademark Infringement in the Cannabis Industry – What is it and What Can You Do About It?

As the cannabis industry grows and evolves, building a recognizable brand will become increasingly important. Strong and well-respected brand identities will help cannabis companies distinguish themselves from their competitors.  Because of this, trademarks (the intellectual property constituting a brand and its related goodwill) will undoubtedly become some of the most valuable assets owned by successful cannabis companies.   As trademarks gain

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Federal Trademark Registration for CBD Brands
Intellectual Property
Josh Zetlin

Federal Trademark Registrations for Hemp-derived CBD Brands Following The 2018 Farm Bill

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has long refused to register trademarks and service marks for goods and/or services that violated federal law, regardless of the legality of the activities under state law. (See generally Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) §907.) As many cannabis and hemp brands know, this restriction made securing federal trademark protection a challenging

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The Growing Value of Domain Names in the Cannabis Industry
Intellectual Property
Josh Zetlin

The Growing Value of Domain Names in the Cannabis Industry

Domain names represent one of the most important, yet often overlooked, components of any cannabis company’s branding efforts. At a basic level, domain names allow consumers to find websites through easy-to-recall names (e.g. “www.rogowaylaw.com”) rather than the all-numeric IP addresses (such as “192.0.34.65”) assigned to each computer on the Internet. Each domain name is made up of a series of

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