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Christiane Campbell, Gretchen Temeles, and Vicki Norton of Duane Morris Christiane Campbell, Gretchen Temeles, and Vicki Norton of Duane Morris

Protection of intellectual property is a key element in any company’s efforts to secure a competitive advantage. For companies in the cannabis space, efforts to secure intellectual property protection play out against a background of conflicting federal and state regulations. Cannabis continues to be a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, and possession of cannabis is prohibited by federal law. However, 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical cannabis, and eight U.S. states have legalized recreational cannabis. This article will address various IP strategies, including trademarks and branding, patents and trade secrets, for protection of cannabis and cannabis-related products and services. The article will also discuss trends in the industry as well as contrasting protections available on the state and federal levels.

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