WeedLex
Jun 19, 2016 9:15 AM

Patenting Strains, Double-Edged Sword of Marijuana Industry

Intellectual property and copyright are essential issues for every field that creates something new. While the public consciousness mainly associates these issues with the music industry, Hollywood, and tech companies, emerging cannabis businesses have to formulate their approach to the topic of copyright as well.

And it is not surprising considering the fact that everyone wants their work to be safe from being stolen. Besides, piracy is a widespread activity these days when the Internet offers everyone expedient means of sharing any information. However, there are two sides to the question.

Copyright and intellectual property activists claim that piracy is a serious problem that has to be dealt with. On the other hand, there are people who oppose the copyright laws. According to them, if you have created something unique and good enough to compete in the marketplace, you have to face the reality that some people will want to get for free, and they will succeed one or another way.

Despite constant debates on the topic of cannabis legalization, few marijuana enthusiasts pay attention to the importance of the patenting issue. It is surprising how little this topic is highlighted given that every breeder would enjoy the possibility to patent their creations. Thus, they will own a strain or an accessory effectively forever and will be credited for it. The patent owners will be able to license a strain to other growers and businesses.

The introduction of patenting to the cannabis industry can create a completely new niche of patent lawyers. But consider the following—while it may be beneficial for large marijuana businesses, are you ready to pay the lawyers as well?

While small breeders often try to reach perfection in their “craft” and create an ideal strain, they may be actually left outside of the industry. It is almost inevitable that in a few years, marijuana will be removed from the list of Schedule I drugs. And then, all pharmaceutical, agriculture, and tobacco businesses will want a piece of this cake. Unfortunately, small growers have little chances of competing with these big corporations.

Of course, local breeders will patent a few of their own strains, but so will do the industry titans. And if these large corporations enter the industry with their own patents, they will blow all small growers out of the water.

All in all, copyright and intellectual property is a sword with two edges. The question whether patenting is a good thing for the industry is still open.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think that the cannabis industry would benefit from patenting?

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