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Can I register a service mark for my cannabis business?

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Cannabis business owners in California can now register their trademarks and protect their intellectual property rights. This is a welcome sign for those who provide cannabis-related goods or services in the state.

With the passage of the Medical and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) -- cannabis products became legal in California commerce. As a result, recreational use cannabis businesses have been growing like weeds (no pun intended) since January 1.

Obtaining intellectual property protections

Although the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not accept service mark applications for cannabis products, individual states may do so. Once California got the green light, business owners began submitting trademarks applications.

You have worked hard to create your business brand. If you have a cannabis-related business, you will want the protection that the California Secretary of State provides. Protect your brand by registering your trademark.

Cannabis trademark registration restrictions

There are some restrictions to service mark registrations in California for cannabis products and services. Your application will not be accepted if you merely "intend" to sell or use your goods or services in California. You may obtain intellectual property protections so long as:

  • You are currently selling your products in California at the time of your registration.
  • Your products comply with California registration laws.
  • Your cannabis goods and services comply with USPTO classifications.

Since the MAUCRSA laws are new and relatively untested, it is important that you fully comply with these rules and regulations. Don't let your business go up in smoke by failing to obtain the legal protections to which you are entitled.

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