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Your CBD Brand Might Be Worthless Without A TM

Tue Oct 8, 2019 Blog

What makes a  Mercedes Benz different from Toyota, or Adidas from Nike? These brands are great businesses and great brands, but each of them has a different personality, different characteristics, and a different reputation. 

Customers are able to distinguish one brand over another based on these important factors and this is what makes them choose one over the other. To illustrate the power of branding even further, consider this. 

If we took a Nike and Adidas shoe and removed all the branding from the shoes, would you know that one is a Nike shoe and the other an Adidas? If you’re a fan of either one maybe you might, but not a lot of people would. 

How about if we removed all the branding from a $120 Nike shoe, would you still pay $120 for those shoes? Probably not. That’s what branding does. 

Business owners spend thousands if not millions of dollars in creating and building the reputation, character, and personality of their brands. It makes perfect sense why you would want to protect it and that’s essentially what a trademark registration does. 

Trademark Protection For CBD brands 

Brand protection is especially critical for CBD businesses. With more states legalizing the possession, use, production, and distribution of marijuana in some form, branding will be the difference between success and failure in the emerging legal cannabis business.

Although the requirement of lawful use in interstate commerce remains to be a major obstacle for cannabis-related brands seeking trademark registration and protection, the 2018 Farm Bill offers great encouragement to cannabis entrepreneurs. 

The 2018 Farm Bill removed “hemp”, defined as any part of the plant Cannabis sativa L. having not more than 0.3% THC (the hallucinogenic component of cannabis), from the CSA’s definition of marijuana. This means cannabis plants and derivatives such as CBDs containing no more than 0.3% THC are no longer controlled substances under the CSA. Therefore, CBD and hemp brands can now protect their brands by getting a federal trademark through the USPTO. 

Even if your brand doesn’t fit this criterion, there’s a lot of ways to maximize the likelihood of protection for your cannabis brand. We’ll talk more about these strategies in our future articles.