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Policy for CBD and Hemp Trademark Registrations

hemp cbd trademarks

CBD and hemp are becoming more and more mainstream with more people looking to buy CBD oil than ever before. Especially as they can buy full spectrum CBD from CVS, Walgreens, and other brick and mortar locations. CBD and hemp have been shown to have numerous health benefits so it’s no surprise that their sales are increasing. If you’re looking to get into the hemp or CDB industry, you must know about getting your products approved and protecting your brand. This article covers the policy for hemp and CDD trademark registrations.

Are you interested in licensing for hemp or CBD? Do you need corporate counsel to help navigate the complexities of Michigan’s cannabis industry? Request a consultation now.

In order to qualify for federal trademark registration, an applicant’s use of that mark must abide federal law.

The USPTO will reject applications that show a clear violation of federal law, regardless of the legality of the products or services under state law.

For the cannabis industry, products and services involving cannabis or cannabis-adjacent use demonstrate clear violations of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

The 2018 Farm Bill and Hemp Trademark

Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, “hemp” was removed from the CSA’s definition of marijuana.

This allows for the lawful production, processing, and marketing of hemp and hemp-derived products.

In addition, this includes federally lawful Cannabidiol (CBD) products and services.

As the U.S. hemp industry matures, thousands of new hemp brands are starting to flood the market.

With more brands competing in this emerging industry, it’s only a matter of time before we see a rise in cannabis and CBD trademark infringement claims between competing businesses.

Anticipating these changes, the USPTO established guidelines for processing trademark applications concerning hemp goods or services.

For any hemp or CBD trademark applications filed on or after December 20, 2018, the USPTO will not cite the CSA as grounds for registration refusal.

However, an application is only eligible if the products at issue are derived from hemp.

Hemp Trademark Registration Refusal

If an applicant can’t demonstrate that the product originates from federally legal sources, their cannabis or CBD trademark application is still subject for rejection based on the CSA.

Up until the 2018 Farm Bill, applicants could not possess bonafide intent to use the mark in lawful commerce.

Luckily, if you submitted your application prior to December 20, 2018, the USPTO will allow applicants to amend the application’s filing date to December 20, 2018.

While this is an exciting development for the hemp industry, applicants should know that not all hemp or CBD products/services are lawful under the 2018 Farm Bill.

Any products or services seeking federal registration still must comply will all federal laws.

Currently, most CBD products raise several other lawful-use concerns under federal law.

For example, using CBD as a dietary supplement or food additive without undergoing a clinical investigation could result in investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Future of Industrial Hemp Programs

While the 2018 Farm Bill created a legal path for operators to cultivate industrial hemp, state hemp regulatory programs are currently developing in several states.

This will make it difficult for several applicants to demonstrate that their products/services are currently derived from federally legal sources.

If you anticipate developing cannabis or hemp trademark protection for your business, Cannabis Legal Group is here to help.

Our experienced attorneys can help you structure your brand strategy to anticipate and develop protection options in this emerging industry.

Are you interested in licensing for hemp or CBD? Do you need corporate counsel to help navigate the complexities of Michigan’s cannabis industry? Request a consultation now.

Barton Morris
Barton Morris has been providing high-quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years.
The Cannabis Legal Group has been providing our clients professional and quality legal assistance in all aspects of representation for years.

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