MedMen Enterprises files application to trademark the word ‘cannabis’ for T-shirts

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

An application has been filed by MedMen Enterprises to trademark, wait for it… the word “cannabis” for print on t-shirts.

MedMen filed the application to trademark “cannabis” at the beginning of October. It was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A spokesman for MedMen, Daniel Yi, is hopeful that USPTO will accept the application. After all, the cannabis company has experience in trademarking all things weed-related. One such example is the cannabis leaf logo, which MedMen successfully trademarked last year as a t-shirt design.

“The geometric leaf you see on our Website and other collaterals is trademarked so we are looking to extend the idea for the word ‘cannabis,’” Yi said in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.

Impressive, but let’s be honest, it’s a pretty greedy request from the California-based company. According to one trademark specialist, the federal government is not likely to approve the application.

Trademark specialist thinks MedMen will have difficulty trying to trademark cannabis

Although MedMen has been victorious in its previous cannabis trademarking efforts, not everyone is convinced. Frank Herrera is a trademark expert and managing attorney of Florida-based H New Media Law. He thinks that MedMen will struggle to trademark “cannabis.”

“There are several (trademarks) that include cannabis for clothing, but they all are used in connection with other terms and/or are stylized,” Herrera explained. “Simply attempting to register the word cannabis alone and not stylized (with logos or a design, for example) for clothing will not work, in my opinion.”

According to Herrera, the government “will most likely reject the application” due to the fact the term cannabis is so widely used for decorating various types of merchandise, including clothing.

The trademark specialist, who made an appearance at the Las Vegas MJBizCon earlier this week, has intensely researched the topic. He claims to have discovered former attempts to trademark the word “cannabis” back in 1996.

As per his predictions, the USPTO will issue an initial ”office action” on MedMen’s trademark application within the next three months.

MedMen CEO wants to make cannabis use “part of the mainstream”
CEO of MedMen Enterprises, Adam Bierman

Co-owner and CEO of MedMen, Adam Bierman, says that his cannabis company “is all about pushing the boundaries and bringing about progressive change to make marijuana use part of the mainstream.”

In spite of his words, members of the cannabis community were not exactly overwhelmed with MedMen’s trademark application. Many people disapprove of the move, believing it to be an acquisitive marketing tactic that will unravel decades of hard work for other brands who have been fighting to gain brand recognition in the industry.

There’s no denying the fact that Bierman’s company is doing very well indeed. MedMen recently invested a staggering $682 million in PharmaCann, a cannabis cultivation facility and retail outlet in one. Nonetheless, trademarking the word “cannabis” in a global market that could pull in $146 billion by 2025 seems pretty out there.