MedMen seeks to trademark the word 'Cannabis'
MedMen, one of the biggest retailers in the industry, has filed an application to trademark the word ‘cannabis’ for use on t-shirts. Trademark specialists doubt that the application will be approved.
The company was able to successfully trademark a cannabis leaf design for shirts in 2017, and now in early October they have submitted a second application for the word.
Daniel Yi, the SVP of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations told Marijuana Business Daily that “The geometric leaf you see on our website and other collaterals is trademarked so we are looking to extend the idea to the word ‘cannabis’”.
There are already several trademarks that include the word cannabis for clothing but all of them are used in association with other words or are stylized in a specific way. Cannabis is the scientific name for a genus of flowering plants. It is highly unlikely that one company could lock down the usage of a widely used term, even if just for clothing.
It is unclear if MedMen really believes that they will obtain the exclusive rights to the word or not. This could be a type of publicity stunt, since filing the application has created a lot of press about MedMen.
It is important to note that this year, MedMen launched a $4 million campaign that “aims to fight stigma and change the perception surrounding recreational marijuana use”. Each image, billboard and display ad only has a single word written across it: “Cannabis.” The company has successfully branded themselves alongside this word already, but it is doubtful that they will win the exclusive rights for it.