On Friday, just 12 days after marijuana became legal for adults across the state, the California Secretary of State’s office announced it would begin accepting trademark applications from cannabis brands with products or services to offer.
This is a monumental step for the business owners who make up California’s cannabis industry as counterfeiting has become increasingly prevalent while more brands aim to establish consumer trust and loyalty within the state’s marketplace.
A state trademark allows a brand to solidify its product or service among the legitimate marijuana market and establish its name to avoid having other companies cash in on their footwork. The trademark serves as a notifier to the public of who holds ownership over that word, symbol, or phrase representing the business, service, or product. It also ensures that consumers know where their products truly come from.
However, businesses will only be able to secure a trademark in the State of California, leaving their intellectual property, branding, and other valuable assets defenseless nationwide. Because interstate trade of federally-prohibited items is still a serious crime, California cannabis…