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Todd Sheppard

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Calif could be headed for needless woes in cannabis trademark legislation

The California Secretary of State’s (SOS’s) office is shortchanging legal cannabis businesses and their consumers by failing to register trademarks for the newly legalized industry, according to a long-time wine industry attorney, Jay Behmke, of Healdsburg.


Including the word “cannabis” or “marijuana” in the state trademark application has, so far, been the kiss of death.


In an extensive research document sent to Assembly members working to clarify legislative intent, Behmke wrote:


The California Secretary of State (“CA SOS”) currently refuses to register trademarks for cannabis goods and services. Trademarks are essential from a consumer protection standpoint to indicate the source of goods or services, … as well as to protect valuable intellectual property for participants in the cannabis industry.

Finding a way to register trademarks in California is critical to the orderly development of a robust cannabis industry for the benefit of suppliers and consumers alike.

The full-text of Behmke’s letter is available here for premium subscribers of Wine Executive News.

Also In This Article:

The full text of the following sections is available to premium subscribers of Wine Executive News.

  • California refuses to register cannabis TM like the U.S. and 3 states already do

  • Calif’s new TM classifications not needed, would pose problems

  • Calif cannabis reconciliation effort missing easy target

  • The USPTO Already Has The Cannabis Solution

  • If USPTO has no issue with existing classifications with cannabis, why should Calif?

  • Proposed Amendment to Business & Professions Code

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