Patents in the burgeoning cannabis industry

Farella Braun + Martel LLP

With cannabis legal in 29 states for medical use and in eight states for recreational use, there is a surge of entrepreneurism and an influx of capital into the rapidly expanding cannabis industry. Although cannabis remains a Schedule I drug under federal law, the U.S. Patent Office is issuing utility patents and plant patents for specific strains of cannabis (e.g., US 9,642,317 and PP27,475). Other patents claim methods of using cannabis to treat ailments like epilepsy (US 9,474,726) and Alzheimer’s-related dementia (US 9,744,161). And a further category of patents is directed to processing and preparing cannabinoid substances for delivery to the body, such as a method of extracting cannabis oil from a plant for use as a food product (US 9,694,040) and a low-temperature inhaler for cannabinoids (US 9,717,683).

Originally published in The Daily Journal - November 9, 2017

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