From Acapulco Gold To Albino Rhino: The Marijuana Trademark Land Rush

Marijuana
Ed Andrieski/AP

A few months back, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office created a new category: "Processed plant matter for medicinal purposes, namely medical marijuana."

That set off a rush of new trademark applications from people in the 14 states where sales of medical marijuana is legal.

But there's this central tension that keeps coming up with medical marijuana: Despite those state laws, it's still a federal crime to sell the drug.

So officials at the trademark office changed their minds last week and decided to kill the medical marijuana category, the WSJ reports today.

But as of this morning, searching for medical marijuana on the patent office website still turned up dozens of trademark applications submitted before the office got rid of the category.

Some of the names seem so well-established that it's hard to imagine someone could have gotten a trademark, even if the patent office had let the category stand. (Somebody wanted to trademark "Chronic.") Other names are less familiar — "420 Honey," for example.

Here's a list of some of the marijuana trademarks people tried to register:

  • Chronic
  • IslandSweetSkunk
  • 420 Honey
  • Beingkind
  • RutBud
  • Emerald Triangle Bud
  • Bubba Kush
  • Panama Gold
  • OG Kush
  • Red Bud
  • Delta 9
  • Purple Haze
  • Albino Rhino
  • Diesel
  • Maui Wowie
  • Thaistick
  • Panama Red
  • Acapulco Gold

More of our coverage on trademarks: Read our post on Subway's effort to trademark "footlong." And listen to the podcast where we try to trademark "Money Honey."

More on marijuana: Read and listen to NPR's series, "The New Marijuana." And listen to our podcast, "An Economist Gets Stoned."

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