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California’s New Guidelines for Cannabis-Related Trademarking

A summary of guidance and information for registering cannabis-related trademarks in California. Get the 2019 California Cannabis trademark guidelines brochure, costs, and links to official government services.

In April 2019, The Secretary of State’s Office released new brochure with guidance and information for registering cannabis-related trademarks in California. You can download the full brochure from the California Cannabis Portal’s Business Resources page or click here to instantly download the Brochure PDF. Here are the highlights.

CA Cannabis Trademark Definitions

“Trademark” means any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination therefore, used in commerce by a person to identify and distinguish the goods of that person from those manufactured or sold by others.

 

“Service Mark” means any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, used in commerce by a person to identify and distinguish the services of that person from the services of others.

How-to Register a Cannabis-Related (Marijuana, CBD, THC) Trademark in California?

California offers an online registration system to quickly register or update a trademark is online at tmbizfile.sos.ca.gov. You may also complete an Application for Registration (Form TM-100) and submit the form in person at the Secretary of State’s office or by mail. The same system and process used for any other trademark type, not just cannabis.

Costs Break Down

As of May 2019

Filing Fee: $70.00 per Classification Code

Certified Copy Fee: $5.00

Copies: Free. Upon approval, you will receive a free copy of your filed documents via email.

What are Pre-Registration Requirements for Cannabis-Related Trademarks in California?

Yes, to register a Trademark in California, it must be lawfully in use in commerce. Special considerations for cannabis businesses are:

  • The cannabis-related goods or services associated with the Mark are authorized under California law.
  • Have acquired the appropriate local and state licenses required to conduct the cannabis activities in California. Most importantly, your licenses must have been obtained prior to seeking registration of a Trademark.
  • Ensure that they are in compliance with labeling and packaging requirements for cannabis products (e.g. product labels include the Universal Symbol).
  • Trademarks associated with prohibited cannabis products cannot be registered (e.g. cannabis products that are attractive to children).

Detailed information on licensing, labeling and packaging requirements can be found online at cannabis.ca.gov.

What California Trademark Classification Codes are Commonly Used for Cannabis, CBD, or Marijuana?

To register any Trademark, you must choose one or more classification codes from the list adopted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). You can find a list of codes at uspto.gov.

What might come as a surprise is, there is not a special cannabis classification. You will choose from the code(s) which best categorize the good(s) or service(s) associated with your Trademark as if these goods or services did not involve cannabis. Crazy right?!

Common classification codes used for cannabis-related Trademarks:

  • Classification Code 5: Pharmaceuticals: trademarks for medicinal products containing cannabis extracts
  • Classification Code 31: Natural Agricultural Products: trademarks for live cannabis plants
  • Classification Code 34: Smokers Articles: trademarks for cannabis products intended for smoking
  • Classification Code 35: Advertising and Business: service marks for retail stores selling cannabis products
  • Classification Code 39: Transportation and Storage: service marks for delivery of cannabis products

That’s it! Go grab your trademark and make sure you are licensed before registering. Start your trademark search.

 

DISCLAIMER: Cannabiz Digital does not sell cannabis. This publication covers business topics surrounding legal cannabis in California and the United States. It does not provide legal or medical advice. Consult your physician, lawyer, and local laws regarding cannabis. We do our best to provide current information at the time of publishing with no guarantees to accuracy. We understand this industry changes quickly and welcome your feedback. [Send Feedback]