Due to the illegality of marijuana, growers and breeders of marijuana have been confused about how possible it is to get patents on their strains of marijuana. This has cast a lot of shadows about who owns the strains in the future. Will they be eligible for patent protection in the future?
Are patents for the most desirable strains going to be hounded by big companies leaving individuals with little or nothing? The Trump Administration has further brought more confusion to the future of marijuana. There is a seeming dislike by the new government for the small sectors in the marijuana industry and a lot of products like vaporizers, marijuana seeds and edibles.
If you take a close look, the United States government is not taking any step to curb the development of cannabis. One might even say that marijuana is taking little but highly relevant steps towards marijuana being legitimate, even among federal government circles despite the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) classifying marijuana as a schedule 1 substance with no medical use.
With measures that are being taken, it can be seen that marijuana is taking some measurable strides towards gaining acceptability. The office in charge of Patents is now granting IP rights to organizations that create strains of the cannabis plant and artificial marijuana.
Among others, the professional growers of legal cannabis would support patents for cannabis plant strains. The Patent office responsible for relevant matters now gives patents for various kind of plants like marijuana as long as everything is in line with the relevant patent regulations.
One of the basic issue is if its legally possible for someone to get a patent for a Cannabis plant.
That might be possible only If the plant has been adequately redesigned by geneticists to the extent that it is obvious that there is a human interference in the development of the plant, then the plant might be eligible for a patent.
It is a laborious and process to get patents for one’s marijuana strains. It is possible to get these patents but very few people have managed to obtain them.
Lawyers advise that before you can get a plant patent, your cannabis strain must have a unique feature. Before a utility patent can be gotten, the cannabis strain must be non-obvious and new when it is compared to strains that currently exist. Your strain must also have different characteristics from natural weed.
This is a reason why some big pharmaceutical companies are interested in marijuana. The interest of the big players might be good for the cannabis industry as it will bring in a level of legality and professionalism that will be good for the much-stigmatized marijuana industry.
But some people are of the opinion that marijuana patents will create monopolies and destroy competition. They fear that cannabis might be monopolized by big pharma, big tobacco, Monsanto etc. who will be brutal in the patent section. Rumors like these were so widespread that Monsanto had to tweet on April 19 that they were not working on GMO marijuana.