CBD, IP & The 2018 Farm Bill

-Submitted by Robert LaManna

Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) occupies a strange place in the current federal intellectual property framework. Many states authorize hemp production and CBD extraction, and many businesses do just that. At the federal level, however, both hemp and CBD are illegal. And this legal bind makes it impossible for CBD businesses to obtain federal trademark protection for their products.

All of this may change with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. The bill would remove hemp from the list of controlled substances in the Controlled Substances Act. It would also redefine “hemp” to explicitly include hemp extracts, including CBD, and permits their use in interstate commerce. In sum, the bill would legalize hemp-derived CBD at the federal level. As a result, CBD businesses will be able to apply for trademark protection with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Fortis Law Partners LLC has experience representing cannabis-related businesses in M&A deals, joint ventures, registering trademarks, and litigation.  Please contact us for your cannabis-related legal questions.