Cannabis Law Perspectives

Legal insights into california's cannabis industry

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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Did the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the “Farm Bill”) legalize CBD?
Regulatory Compliance
Josh Zetlin

So, did the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (the “Farm Bill”) legalize CBD?

For years most only associated cannabis with THC, the most famous – and psychoactive – of the approximately 113 phytocannabinoid chemical compounds in the cannabis plant.  Lately, however, cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, has grabbed much of the attention from its psychoactive counterpart. These days it seems like new CBD-infused products hit our shelves every day. People can now buy

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Copyrights represent a key type of intellectual property for many cannabis businesses.
Intellectual Property
Josh Zetlin

Understanding Copyright Registration and Enforcement for Cannabis Brands

What Qualifies for a Copyright? Copyright is a form of intellectual property that grants the creator of an original work the exclusive right to determine whether, and under what conditions, this original work may be used by others. Under US law, copyright protection exists “in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later

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California recently tasked CalCannabis with developing a process for licensed cannabis cultivators to establish state cannabis appellations - the CalCannabis Appellations Project.
Intellectual Property
Josh Zetlin

What the CalCannabis Appellations Project means for California Cannabis Cultivators, Manufacturers & Retailers.

Tequila from Mexico, Roquefort cheese from France…cannabis from Humboldt?!  Consumers around the world place great importance on the place of origin for many agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine and spirit drinks, handicrafts, and industrial products.  This trend holds true in the cannabis industry. Many in cannabis companies recognize the importance of promoting the geographic origin, otherwise known in trademark lingo as

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Copyright Protection for Cannabis Businesses
Intellectual Property
Josh Zetlin

Copyright Protection as an Alternative to Trademarks: A Guide for Cannabis Businesses

As most companies are well aware, a well-known brand (aka a trademark) represents one of a business’s most valuable assets.  Companies spend thousands of dollars and countless hours developing a distinctive visual look, crafting the perfect logo, and devising ways to make their product packaging stand out from the crowd of competitors.  It’s only natural for companies to vigorously protect

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