The cannabis industry provides unique challenges with regard to intellectual property, as it is important to have a grasp of the nuances surrounding federal IP protection in a grey market industry, and how this interfaces with state licensing issues and practices. Obtaining protection on a federal level is the first portion of this, and then properly licensing and otherwise leveraging this protection is the other side of that coin. Our attorneys understand the metes and bounds of what is possible in terms of protection, and work diligently with our clients to provide as much value as possible.
With the Farm Bill of 2018 providing new definitions on what qualifies as federally-legal hemp (as opposed to federally-illegal marijuana), many business opportunities have sprouted and our attorneys have helped clients successfully leverage such opportunities.
Additionally, multi-state operators (MSO’s) are able to operate across state lines because their IP gets licensed by an operator who is licensed by a given state. Specifically, cannabis and cannabis-derived products cannot lawfully cross state lines. To overcome this, MSO’s will partner with specific license holders lawfully operating within a given state, and then the MSO will provide access to their intellectual property (brands, logos, packaging, industrial processes, customer lists, etc.) for the state-licensed operators to use in compliance with state guidelines. Lerner David can help obtain/secure brand and other IP protections and also license your cannabis company’s IP to help you expand your existing business across state lines.
We assist clients in securing patent protection for their cannabis-related innovations, including:
- Cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical inventions for humans and animals
- Strain genetics (plant patents & utility patents)
- Chemical extraction methods
- Cultivation methods and devices
- Cannabis-related software
- Cannabis testing equipment
Trademarks are a critical part of any cannabis company’s IP portfolio in order to differentiate the business and its products. Having a long-term plan of how to obtain and leverage your cannabis company’s brand is important. Our attorneys assist clients with effective strategies that well-position our clients for imminent federal legalization. Our attorneys counsel clients on the procurement of registrations with the experience to understand approaches that maximize the enforcement and licensing of both federal and state trademarks. By sowing the seeds of our client’s brand protection at early stages, our clients reap the rewards today and in the future.
As your company grows, our attorneys also can help by providing due diligence and opinion work. Too often growth is inhibited due to a lack of understanding of the IP landscape. Lerner David’s attorneys have decades of experience evaluating patents, providing freedom-to-operate opinions, and providing other strategic IP-related guidance to help advance our client’s interests.