The budding cannabis industry is at an interesting junction, especially as pot companies battle it out for market presence, brand recognition, and customer loyalty.
In many ways, it’s not too inaccurate to think of it as a kind of “turf war” between emerging cannabis companies.
In fact, an article recently published by Esquire referred to this turf war as “a scramble to brand and trademark pot products.”
The processes through which pot companies are currently working to make a name for themselves in the emerging legal weed marketplace can be a bit chaotic and cut-throat, largely because this is all uncharted territory.
A once illegal commodity—still illegal in most places, including the federal government—is now becoming legal in some places, and kind of legal in others. Clearly, a murky scenario to the say the least.
In 420 friendly states like Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, cannabis companies are following branding trends that are more or less consistent with the patterns seen in other industries as they try to carve out a name for themselves by focusing on some unique aspect of their product, by getting celebrity endorsements, and other well known tactics.
But, as Esquire put it, the main problem these companies face is that “weed brands aren’t much more substantial than the labels they’re printed on.”
“Patents and trademarks are largely regulated by the federal government, which considers marijuana an illegal drug and therefore ineligible for any sort of legal protection.”
‘The result is a Wild West environment of marijuana entrepreneurs trying to stake claims and establish cross-state markets using a patchwork of state laws. Therefore, consumers have no way of knowing that celebrity-branded pot is any different than what they could get in a plastic baggie from a corner drug dealer.”
Because patent and trademark information isn’t publicly available, it’s difficult to know precisely how many marijuana-related patents have been requested. But experts working in the cannabis industry estimate that there have been hundreds of these requests made, the article reported.
In the midst of all this, it seems that the main goal of cannabis entrepreneurs is to secure as much of the burgeoning weed market as they can while it’s still in its early days.
The more cannabis becomes accepted in the mainstream, and the more it becomes legal, the more money it will generate. And entrepreneurs are working now to be sure that they get as big a piece of that pie as possible when that time comes.
In the meantime, pot heads can hope that the turf war to establish market presence catalyzes the development of some killer new strains and other wild pot products.