Arkansas medical cannabis dispensary wins trademark dispute against MSO

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

What’s in a name? Plenty, at least to a locally owned Arkansas medical cannabis dispensary pitted against a large multistate operator.

Harvest Cannabis Dispensary, a family owned business licensed in the central Arkansas city of Conway, won a preliminary injunction prohibiting two facilities managed by Arizona-based MSO Harvest Health & Recreation from using the Harvest name.

The trademark lawsuit was filed in Faulkner County Circuit Court against Natural State Wellness Dispensary and Natural State Enterprises, affiliates of Harvest Health. The properties include a dispensary in Little Rock and a cultivation facility in Newport.

“We have been open and honest about our intentions and branding since September 2017 when we first came up with the name around the breakfast table and sought a license from the state,” Elizabeth Barnett, CEO for Conway-based Harvest Cannabis Dispensary, noted in a news release.

“We were shocked when the Little Rock store put their sign up on their building after we had been open for months calling themselves ‘Harvest House of Cannabis,'” Barnett added. “This ruling proves that sometimes the little guy wins.”

Harvest Health had argued that it had established a nationwide seniority in the use of the name.

“With respect to the trademark dispute in Arkansas, we disagree with the decision and we plan to appeal,” Christine Hersey, Harvest Health’s director of investor relations, wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.

“We will comply with the ruling. However, we view this as a temporary setback and we will continue to do everything possible to protect the Harvest brand.”