Most of our California cannabis business clients have some type of intellectual property, most often in the form of a brand name they are seeking to protect and capitalize on. However, as our Los Angeles marijuana intellectual property attorneys can explain, licensing can be complicated because, when it comes to marijuana, of course it is.
Let’s start with the fact that recently, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Department of Health just dropped a heap of proposed regulatory modifications on the industry. (Written comments must be in by Nov. 5 to be considered – which you should definitely do if you have a cannabis intellectual property licensing agreement or manufacturing deal you’d like to keep going because those could be directly affected.)
Specifically, the state’s proposed action would seemingly effectively ban all IP licensee agreements where the licensor (seller) isn’t licensed by the state. That could put a major crimp in existing deals involving:
- Separate IP-holding companies established by licensed operators to hold and license intellectual property back to the owner;
- Cannabis companies out-of-state looking to license their existing brand to manufacturers here, but don’t want to directly be involved in the manufacturing process in this state;
- Third-parties who aren’t licensed by have created some sort of tech to make a certain brand or marijuana product and want to license the rights to that IP to a licensed California marijuana firm.