As the medical marijuana, hemp, and CBD industries are still relatively new, many cannabis business owners are unsure whether they qualify for trademark protection or not. The 2018 Farm Bill clarified the legal distinction of hemp from marijuana and the status of popular cannabinoids and derivatives, such as CBD. Accordingly, positive changes regarding hemp-based trademarks have taken place, which the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) outlined in an Examination Guide in May of 2019. Below, we outline the basics of trademarking with a focus on cannabis and hemp products at the federal and state level.
Trademarks are common as companies make efforts to stand out in competitive industries. However, in this pursuit of differentiation, some businesses may take inspiration from a competitor’s creative assets. These actions risk infringing on the trademark of the business that registered the concept with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Trademark infringement cases can be complicated, which is why companies should work with an experienced Texas trademark lawyer from Ritter Spencer PLLC. Read below to learn some of the basics of trademark infringement and what legal options are available to businesses with a registered trademark.
Breweries, distilleries, and wineries with ambitions of infusing or selling their beverages with cannabidiol (“CBD”) and/or tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) derived from hemp will have to wait for a change in law by the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (“TTB”), or a divergent conclusion by the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) finding that these beverages fall into a legal exemption. On April 25, 2019, the TTB, which regulates the alcohol and tobacco industries in the United States, issued an industry circular as a response to numerous inquiries from the alcohol and hemp/CBD industries about whether CBD or THC can legally be introduced into alcoholic beverages: the TTB made it clear that, at this time, it will not approve formula or label applications for alcoholic beverages containing CBD or THC.
After a challenging year for many businesses, small businesses in particular, filing for bankruptcy may be the only viable option left. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact a range of markets, and filing for bankruptcy gives honest debtors a chance to rebuild. However, marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and hemp and cannabis businesses are commonly deemed ineligible for this recourse as federal bankruptcy courts cannot support either the possession or sale of illegal assets.
While no business wants to consider bankruptcy as an option, commercial bankruptcy often provides a valuable lifeline for troubled companies, especially during an economic downturn. But what are some of the alternatives to bankruptcy for cannabis businesses? Have the events of 2020 set any new precedents for bankruptcy in the cannabis industry? Below we take a closer look at some of the options and recent developments for cannabis business owners.
Organizing finances and adapting to evolving economic situations are constant challenges of running a business. Even companies that feel prepared for a change in their financial status may find themselves on the brink of bankruptcy. With the volatility of the global economy and an unpredictable market, businesses should prepare for the worst and work with a bankruptcy attorney to create a financial plan in case of bankruptcy. Work with the Dallas commercial bankruptcy attorneys at Ritter Spencer PLLC to plan for your company’s future.
While the internet makes our lives significantly easier, this immediate access to information has its own set of risks that can have serious consequences for businesses. Companies can easily access pre-written internet contracts that seem to have the necessary requirements for a simple agreement. However, these templates leave businesses vulnerable to costly litigation in the future. Learn about the risks of standard internet contracts and work with the Texas contract law experts at Ritter Spencer PLLC.
As the marijuana industry grows and makes strides in the legalization of the substance, the legislation surrounding marijuana continues to significantly impact businesses in the market. Most recently, the House of Representatives voted to approve the MORE Act at the beginning of December 2020. As Ritter Spencer specializes in marijuana, cannabis, and CBD law, our experts explain what the MORE Act states and what it means for the marijuana industry.
In the 2020 elections, voters approved statewide ballot proposals to legalize medical and/or adult-recreational-use marijuana in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, Mississippi, and South Dakota. In total, medical marijuana is now legal in 36 states and recreational use cannabis is now legal in 15 states. Currently, marijuana legalization remains on the docket for Texas in 2021. While many lawmakers have high expectations for this year, loosening marijuana laws has been a long and grueling battle for the Lone Star State.
2020 was a monumental year for the cannabis industry, and experts predict the momentum will continue well into the future. Specifically, when businesses across the globe were forced to close amidst the worldwide spread of Covid-19, cannabis dispensaries were deemed an essential business and permitted to continue operations at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Cannabis activists across the country counted this as a significant win in the progress of our nation’s collective perception of the substance. As this fast-paced industry constantly evolves, expect to see continued strides made throughout the industry in the following year. Below we’ve included what to expect from the cannabis industry in 2021.
In early January, Mexico published regulations for the legal use of medical marijuana, marking a significant move forward in the cannabis space. This is a substantial step in cannabis reform for Mexico and will have a notable impact on the rest of the world as well. While some feel these regulations were long overdue, Mexico’s Ministry of Health’s rules were signed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.