Intellectual property usually comprises intangible items or ideas arising from the creative process. All companies and business owners have at least some forms of intellectual property that add value to their operations.
You might expect marijuana businesses to own nothing aside from the most common intellectual properties (branding materials, etc.). However, there is much to protect when running a cannabis company.
The marijuana industry invites discovery
Those operating a cannabis business are poised to contribute to the industry’s growth and evolution. There are discoveries to make, processes to perfect, recipes to test and everything in between. As new discoveries occur, those responsible for making them must protect their findings. You need to protect:
- New products
- Manufacturing methods
- Secret formulas or recipes
- New plant varieties and hybrids
- New cannabis treatments and uses
These are special intellectual property considerations, some unique to the cannabis industry. Depending on the nature of your operation (cultivating, dispensing, etc.), you may own one or more of the examples above.
It is critical to preserve ownership of distinctive property. If unprotected, another could take it and use it, potentially earning profits that would have benefitted your business.
Remember to address the basics
Another consideration centers on the more mundane forms of intellectual property, such as your logo or product packaging. These materials represent your brand. If another uses them with a few minor alterations, consumers could mistake that company for yours, perhaps impacting your bottom line.
As the California marijuana industry continues evolving, intellectual property preservation will soon become even more vital. Learning more about cannabis law and intellectual property now can benefit you as your operations expand.