Tue, Apr 7, 2020

Dear Bonnie:

“I have been wanting to establish a trademark on my Cannabis company. However, I have been told I cannot because Cannabis is not federally legal.  Since hemp was recently federally legalized, can I obtain a trademark for CBD products?”  NO, you cannot obtain a trademark on a federally illegal product such as Cannabis


To obtain a trademark, you have to choose a classification under which you register your trademark. Since there is no classification of Cannabis, many Cannabis companies obtain a trademark under other classifications such as clothing and apparel, glass products, paraphernalia, etc.

But some companies run the risk of a similar trademark already registered for that classification, making it difficult for Cannabis companies to ultimately obtain their trademark.

Hemp was legalized in 2018 at the federal level through the Hemp Farming Act. This opens up an entirely new avenue for Cannabis companies to obtain their mark. There is a classification for agricultural products, which is likely the best fit for a hemp trademark.

I think obtaining a trademark for CBD and hemp products is a great idea. It’s a closer fit to Cannabis than clothing and apparel, glass products, or other tangential classifications. Additionally, when Cannabis is federally legalized, it may provide some protection of your mark as an agricultural product.

Smoking lounges, or consumption lounges, are not permitted in Washington. In fact, it is a Class C felony to operate a Cannabis club where the direct or indirect purpose is to hold, store, or consume Cannabis under RCW 69.50.465.

Since it is illegal to smoke in public and it is also unlawful to smoke inside under the Clean Indoor Air Act, Cannabis consumers are placed in a difficult position when deciding where to smoke their Cannabis.

While this is the law as it currently stands, I hope one day this law is changed so Cannabis consumers can enjoy their Cannabis in consumption lounges. I strongly believe one day Washington will get there. Until we do, I keep wondering how we can move our state in the direction of accepting consumption lounges.

I recently took a trip to Greece where the CBD industry has really taken off. CBD stores are all over the country, especially the well-known company, Hempoil. Hempoil had every kind of Cannabis product that you can find in a retail store in Washington, but just made with CBD.

They had CBD flower, CBD joints, CBD shatter, CBD crumble, CBD topicals, CBD edibles, etc.

Hempoil even had a CBD vending machine in Athens, until they had to remove it due to identification and verification issues, according to the employee I spoke with. 

In addition to the impressive array of CBD products, Hempoil had a very European feature: a smoking area in front of the store. In Europe, where cigarette smoking is rampant and ubiquitous, patrons smoking in front of retail stores is not surprising.

While the law currently does not permit Cannabis smoking lounges, CBD lounges would be a completely legal way for Cannabis lovers to get together and consume CBD products in a social atmosphere.

But the difference with this smoking porch was that patrons were permitted, actually encouraged, to smoke the CBD products they had just purchased. While I sparked my CBD joint in front of the store, I asked myself,

“Where are the CBD consumption lounges in Washington?

CBD consumption lounges are an ideal legal way for products to be consumed out of public view. CBD products have recently become extremely popular in mainstream culture. I recently waited for two hours for a CBD cocktail in Los Angeles. I went to a CBD coffee shop in Texas. CBD products have crept their way into the lives of the general public, and have earned a reputation of not only being socially acceptable but in fact, healthy.

So, why has the Cannabis industry not hopped on board with CBD consumption lounges?

Lounges could have an outdoor area where patrons could smoke their CBD flower so long as it is 25 feet from any entrance. CBD lounges could have a dab station where patrons could dab CBD shatter or crumble. Lounges could offer CBD coffees, teas, waters, smoothies, and countless other beverages.

Pastries and snacks could be infused with CBD, and other CBD food products could be sold at the register.

CBD flower, CBD shatter, CBD crumble and other oils could be sold at these lounges. Beer and wine could even be sold at these lounges, and maybe even cocktails if a liquor license is obtained.

CBD lounges could be Washington’s path toward normalizing consumption lounges.

And when Washington finally lifts its ban on Cannabis consumption lounges, CBD lounges would have already established their branding as Cannabis cafes.

So, I ask the question again.

Where are the CBD consumption lounges?