Patent Battles Could Shape Marijuana Industry’s Future

The patenting of new marijuana strains could touch off major legal battles over cannabis varieties produced through innovative breeding methods.

“The prize could be nothing less than the commanding heights of an industry that’s projected to soon top $40 billion, with the exclusive rights to produce, sell, or license designer varieties of pot,” Vice News reported. “Over the next few years, the contest could take the form of a gold rush for patents.”

The U.S.-based online news outlet said cannabis industry officials are growing increasingly worried over the need to hire attorneys to shield their new strains from imitators and patent trolls – as well as from agricultural, tobacco and pharmaceutical corporations angling to get a toehold in the rapidly expanding marijuana business.

“If the laws change and the big companies move in, I think we’ll have a period of turmoil around ownership, patenting, the whole business,” Erich Veitenheimer, a patent lawyer and partner at Cooley LLP in Washington DC, told Vice News.

According to the article, the U.S. government issued its first patent for a cannabis plant in 2015, for a strain containing a potent amount of THC. A group of California breeders received Patent No. 9095554 for their creation.

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3 comments on “Patent Battles Could Shape Marijuana Industry’s Future
  1. Marilyn Rose on

    I find it interesting that the gov’t has a patent on a type with very high THC. I thought they had patents on CBD plants so they could eventually market it for seizures. So it sounds as if they have plans…that could be is scary!

  2. bill on

    I wonder how a patent can be applied for and granted by a Federal Agency (USPTO) for a plant that is illegal (Federally) to grow, own or clone.

    • Steve on

      It is an interesting topic… Also what is interesting is if you look up cannibinoid extraction for patents related to that you will find several given in the last few year. No patents listed under marijuana though. Well I am proud of the people for getting a patent for a plant that is extremely difficult to do..

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