The “green rush” has hit New Jersey. While nearly all cannabis entrepreneurs are keeping a keen eye on legislative developments, the savvy are already well ahead in what may be the key to unlocking the true value in the cannabis industry—branding. Much like the New Jersey craft beer boom before it, success in the New Jersey cannabis industry will not be driven solely by the acquisition of cultivation or dispensary licenses, or infusion of investment capital, but also by how well companies develop, protect and exploit their brands to distinguish themselves from the crowd.

Branding is not a new concept, nor are the various intellectual property laws that protect brands. What is new to most is how this burgeoning industry can take advantage of those laws within the context of state and federal restrictions perceived (often mistakenly) to limit the ability to protect and enforce brands within the cannabis space. The good news is that there are already a number of powerful tools that cannabis entrepreneurs can use to protect their brand, along with strategic alternatives that can be used to best position those businesses if and when the current restrictions are lifted.


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