As more and more states approve the use of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, the number of innovations in the cannabis industry continues to rise. While cannabis is still classified as a Schedule I controlled substance, the U.S. federal law does not prohibit patenting of products and techniques related to the plant. As such, you can seek and secure federal patent protection for cannabis-related creations you develop.
Patents and protections for cannabis plants in the U.S.
According to the 1980 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, you can patent a living thing provided that you are able to alter its natural state to create something new. The three most common cannabis patents you may be entitled to in the U.S. are:
- Design patents
- Plant patents, and
- Utility patents
Design and utility patents are the most relevant to the cannabis industry.
Patenting cannabis-related products and techniques
The U.S. Patent Act allows investors to seek patents for cannabis plants as well as related products, creations and techniques.
The cannabis processes you can seek a patent for
- Propagation and breeding methods
- Cultivation methods
- Cannabis oil extraction techniques
Cannabis machines you can seek a patent for
- Cultivation lamps
- Sorting devices
- Harvesting equipment
Manufactured cannabis products you can seek a patent for
- Cannabis oil
- Cannabis-infused products like fertilizer, health items, beverages and food
Cannabis compositions you can seek a patent for
- Artificial recreations
- Pharmaceuticals and medications
Getting help with cannabis patents
If you have created a new strain of cannabis plant or invented a cannabis-related technique or product, you may want to consider getting federal patent protection for your work. With a federal patent in hand, you will have the authority to prohibit or restrict others from making financial gains from your creation, ensuring that you, and you alone, are realizing the full benefits of your work.
The process of securing a patent, especially a cannabis-related patent, can be complex and tedious. However, you will stand a greater chance of securing patent protection when you engage the services of an experienced patent attorney to handle your quest.