Yes, you can trademark a cannabis brand… and you should.
Cannabis (marijuana) is still an illegal substance in Canada but the law is changing. The proposed Cannabis Act would allow legal possession, purchase, growth, and creation of cannabis products subject to regulations which have yet to be finalized. The latest target date for legalisation is set for July 2018.
This means a new – and budding – market for creative and innovative ideas is opening up in Canada. In just over a year, businesses can operate to grow, sell, or create new cannabis products.
And this is expected to be quite the market.
Take the Netherlands, for example, who have very liberal marijuana laws. A quick google search renders hundreds of “coffee shops” with the purpose of selling cannabis and related products.
Registering a trademark now can ensure exclusive rights to your brand in the new market before you start to offer your goods or services to the public. So if you have a name, logo, design, or any type of brand around a cannabis related venture now is the time to get a trademark application on file.
What are the benefits to registering a trademark?
Once you trademark a cannabis brand, and put the mark to use, you are given nationwide protection for 15 years. This allows you to grow from a local business, to a Canada-wide venture, without worrying about the validity of your brand.
You also have proof of ownership over your mark. Without a registered mark, somewhere down the line you may be asked to defend or assert your brand. This can be a complex process of gathering evidence on the use and distinctiveness of your business. Registering a trademark right off the bat can save you a lot of headache in the long run.
Finally, and most importantly, you have protection over your primary asset – your brand. Filing for the registration of your trademark ensures your mark doesn’t belong to someone else and cannot be copied in the future. Your business – and your trademark – will be exclusively yours.
So, by starting the process of obtaining a trademark for your cannabis brand you could become a leader in Canada’s emerging, and potentially highly profitable, cannabis market.
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