Trademarking your products is an essential component to building and protecting your brand, and there are few hotter burgeoning products coming to market these days than those involving the multifaceted applications of CDB. However, because the federal government still lists CBD’s source plant—Cannabis sativa L.—as a controlled substance, trademarking your CBD products takes some maneuvering.
While many states have passed full marijuana legalization laws, and the 2014 Farm Bill included a limited exception for the cultivation of industrial hemp through state university agricultural research programs, in practice we have found that nearly all trademark applications for CBD products—even those strictly adhering to state regulations and/or engineered under federal programs—are initially rejected. The good news is that there are ways to work around these initial rejections and successfully trademark your CBD product. You can also “anchor” your CBD product in other ways and protect your brand while your CBD-related trademark is pending.
Additionally, the 2018 Farm Bill is looking extremely promising for the CBD industry. The feds are finally catching on to the huge market for hemp-derived products and the opportunities it presents for the U.S. economy. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell introduced a provision legalizing industrial hemp that passed overwhelmingly (86-11) in the senate’s version of the bill. Legalization of industrial hemp has rare widespread bipartisan support—even in traditionally conservative states whose formerly tobacco-based agriculture economies could utilize the benefits of a new hemp industry.
Unfortunately the deadline for passing the 2018 bill before the expiration of the 2014 bill just passed (due to house/senate disputes over other measures), and we are now in extension limbo. In the meantime, while we wait for our elected officials to do their jobs, we can help you navigate the world of CBD trademarking.