What a looming patent war could mean for the future of the marijuana industry

Concern is rising among legal-pot pioneers about the need to lawyer up to defend their creations from imitators and patent trolls
Vice (US)
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

On August 4, 2015, US officials quietly made history by approving the first-ever patent, No. 9095554, for a plant containing significant amounts of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, according to the patent's holders, their lawyers, and outside experts in intellectual property law. But while the patent may inaugurate a new era of acceptance for marijuana in the US, it also opens up a new source of turmoil for the fast-growing industry: disputes over the intellectual property rights to America's most potent and innovative marijuana strains. When big corporations eventually decide to enter the market and compete with smaller growers, the stakes will be even higher — and the competition even fiercer. (See also: The Open Cannabis Project)