Recommended Order Clarifies Not All Marijuana Businesses Should Be Denied Trademark Protection

Last summer, we reported on the trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Veritas Fine Cannabis (“VFC”) against Veritas Farms here and here. In late August, I had reported Veritas Farms filed a motion to dismiss on the basis VFC does not actually possess the common law federal trademarks it seeks to enforce. Since the motion was filed, VFC filed an amended complaint, and Veritas Farms filed a second motion to dismiss, largely on the same grounds but also including arguments based on the illegality doctrine (which we’ve previously written about here).

Unfortunately for VFC, Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty issued a recommended order that the Court grant Veritas Farms’ motion to dismiss – and to dismiss the trademark infringement and related claims with prejudice (meaning, VFC cannot amend or try to bring these claims again). But, for the cannabis-ancillary industry, the order clarifies the illegality doctrine isn’t going to prevent all marijuana-related services from obtaining trademark rights.

In its motion, Veritas Farms argued VFC’s business and products (which largely relate to providing information about cannabis) are illegal under federal law under the Controlled Substances Act, and thus not eligible for trademark protection. VFC responded the provision of informational services about cannabis

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