Coming up with creative, wacky, or funny names for new cannabis strains has long been a staple of weed culture. Many times, breeders and growers choose names that reference other products or cultural objects. Now, many of those names are coming under fire for intellectual property infringement. Wondering why some of your favorite strain names changed? Consider it one of the unintended consequences of legalization. In any case, here are 11 times strain names changed to dodge lawsuits.
This is one of the most publicized examples of a company going after a marijuana strain name. In 2017, the glue company Gorilla Glue filed a lawsuit against the makers of the Gorilla Glue weed strain.
Today, you can still find the Gorilla Glue strain. But don’t look for it under that name. The strain is now called simply GG. Similarly, all the variants of this strain also go by GG, followed by a number like GG #4.
Girl Scout Cookies
Obviously, this one wasn’t going to stand for too long. This popular strain is explicitly named after the organization for girls that goes by the exact same name as the strain.
Like the makers of the Gorilla Glue—now GG—strain, the folks behind this one went with a simple solution. Instead of calling it Girl Scout Cookies, it’s now simply GSC.
Platinum Girl Scout Cookies
This variation of the GSC strain also ran into the same problems as the original namesake. When it became too risky to brand the strain as Girl Scout Cookies, the name Platinum Girl Scout Cookies also went out the window.
In some cases, strains labeled GSC are actually Platinum Girl Scout Cookies, so ask around to see what this strain is called in your location. This would be a good thing to ask your local budtender about.
Like the other Girl Scout-related strains on this list, Thin Mint had to be done away with when Girl Scouts USA sent a cease and desist letter to a dispensary in Oakland called Magnolia Oakland collective.
But given that thin mints are a perennial favorite among purchasers of real Girl Scout cookies, getting some actual thin mints could be a good option for your post-sesh munchies.
The Jägermeister cannabis strain wasn’t all very well known to begin with. And now it’s even less well known. That’s because the makers of this strain apparently ditched the moniker in anticipation of potential legal challenges.
Much like the Girl Scout Cookies strains, this strain is being labeled JGR for short, now.
As far as we’ve heard, the German liquor company didn’t actually file any formal complaint. Instead, it looks like whoever was making and selling this fairly obscure strain simply changed the name before anything bad happened.
George Lucas has built up a massive intellectual property empire. And before legalization started taking off, there was an equally well-known group of cannabis strains with Star Wars related names.
Skywalker was one of the better known Star Wars strains. But that name has since been done away with. As far as we know George Lucas’s company, LucasArts, hasn’t actually filed any lawsuits. Instead, it appears that marijuana companies are changing the name as a preventive measure.
If you’ve been wondering where the Skywalker strain went, legal cannabis brands are calling it Mazar x Blueberry.
Skywalker OG could very well be the most famous and most popular of all the Star Wars-themed cannabis strains. But as happened to its Skywalker predecessor, you probably won’t be seeing the name Skywalker OG on dispensary shelves for too much longer.
Rather than get embroiled in an IP battle with someone as big as LucasArts, marijuana companies are starting to rebrand strains like Skywalker OG.
Like Skywalker, Skywalker OG is now being labeled after its parent strains Mazar x Blueberry OG.
This fruity cross between Grape and Grapefruit strains is known for giving consumers a tasty and well-balanced indica experience.
And while the strain gained popularity over the last few years, its been called Zkittlez its first cannabis cup award in 2015. You probably won’t see it labeled Skittles anywhere. Rather than face a lawsuit, the creators (3rd Gen Family and Terp Hogz) named the fruity strain Zkittlez.
Earlier this year, Hershey’s went after a couple cannabis companies, claiming copyright infringement. One of the companies Hershey’s targeted was Jolly Meds, makers of hard candy-style edibles.
In this case, it looks like Hershey’s had two main problems with the company. First, they claimed the edibles looked too much like the candy Jolly Ranchers. And second, the name of the product, which references the same candies.
While Jolly Meds isn’t an actual strain, we thought it still deserved a spot on this list since it was a cannabis product that came under scrutiny by a larger company claiming IP infringement.
The strain name Candyland hasn’t necessarily been changed universally. And the makers of the popular children’s game haven’t filed a lawsuit. Despite this, the strain name is still banned in some places because it directly references a well-known board game.
For example, the state of Oregon does not allow dispensaries to sell the strain under this specific name. That’s because the state has laws banning any sort of marketing or branding that could appeal to children or underage consumers.
Charlotte’s Web is on this list for the same reason as Candyland. This is arguably one of the most famous strains in the world. It was designed to be a high CBD, low THC strain intended for children suffering from epilepsy.
And while its name is the same as the well-known children’s book, it was actually named for a young girl who inspired the creators of this strain. Despite this, some places, like Oregon for example, have banned the name for its reference to themes that could appeal to children.
Weed Businesses Sued For Strain Names
The more that cannabis becomes legally produced, marketed, and sold, the more likely it is that some strain names will come under fire from companies claiming IP infringement.
As you can see from this list, many strains that have been around for years have already faced legal challenges. As a result, many of these names have been changed.
Moving forward, it seems unlikely that breeders and other marijuana companies will adopt referential names. The era of naming weed strains after other foods, products, companies, or brands could very well be a thing of the past.