California cannabis lawyersUntil recently, the “Wild West” of U.S. cannabis lacked robust statewide regulations which left California cannabis companies subject to unclear rules and risk of federal shutdowns. The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) created these regulations, but ultimately left control in the hands of Until recently, the “Wild West” of U.S. cannabis lacked robust statewide regulations which left California cannabis companies subject to unclear rules and risk of federal shutdowns. The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) created these regulations, but ultimately left control in the hands of local cities and counties.

At last count, California has 58 counties and 482 incorporated cities across the state, each with the option to create its own rules or ban marijuana altogether. In this California Cannabis Countdown series, we plan to cover who is banning, who is waiting, and who is embracing the change to legalize marijuana — permits, regulations, taxes and all. For each city and county, we’ll discuss its location, history with cannabis, current law, and proposed law to give you a clearer picture of where to locate your cannabis business, how to keep it legal, and what you will and won’t be allowed to do. Our last California Cannabis Countdown post was on the City of Desert Hot Springs, and before that, Sonoma County, the City of Sacramento, the City of BerkeleyCalaveras CountyMonterey County and the City of Emeryville.

Welcome to the California Cannabis Countdown.

Los Angeles is one of the largest cities on any scale and remains one of the most popular locations eyed by prospective medical marijuana business owners in California even though no new cannabis businesses have been allowed within the city since 2007. In fact, the city prohibits all marijuana activities within its boundaries but allows a small number of businesses to operate under a strict immunity system. For those who dare to open and operate an illegal medical marijuana business, the repercussions can be high and the City Attorney is not hesitating to take swift and serious action to shut them down.

LocationThe City of Los Angeles is the most populous city in California, the second-largest city in the United States, and it has the third-largest gross metropolitan product (GMP) in the world. It is home to Hollywood, which makes the city a major center of the U.S. entertainment industry. Beyond its thriving local economy, the city is known for its mediterranean climate and ethnic diversity.

History with Cannabis. On August 1, 2007, Los Angeles passed Interim Control Ordinance 179027 (the “ICO”) to prohibit new medical marijuana dispensaries unless a hardship exemption was approved by the City Council. At the same time, the ICO exempted certain existing medical marijuana facilities that were operating prior to September 14, 2007, and timely registered with the City Clerk by November 13, 2007.

On June 24, 2009, the City passed Ordinance No. 180749 that, among other things, removed the ability for new businesses to request a hardship exemption.

On January 26, 2010, the City passed Ordinance No. 181069, the Medical Marijuana Ordinance (the “MMO”), which added Article 5.1 to Chapter IV of the Los Angeles Municipal Code in order to establish a regulatory framework for medical marijuana collectives. The code required collectives to meet preinspection requirements and register with the Department of Building and Safety. The MMO was later amended by the City on January 21, 2011, through Ordinance No. 181530, the Temporary Urgency Ordinance (the “TUO”), which required collectives to notify the City of their intent to register by February 18, 2011.

On March 8, 2011, voters in the City approved Measure M, which imposed a tax of $50 for every $1,000 of revenues generated by medical marijuana collectives.

On May 21, 2013, voters in the City approved Proposition D, which repealed and replaced the regulatory system set in place under the MMO in order to further stem the proliferation of medical marijuana businesses occurring throughout Los Angeles.

Current Cannabis Laws. Article 5.1 of the current City Code states that

It is unlawful to own, establish, operate, use, or permit the establishment or operation of a medical marijuana business, or to participate as an employee, contractor, agent or volunteer, or in any other manner or capacity in any medical marijuana business.”

This includes renting, leasing, or otherwise permitting a medical marijuana business to occupy or use a location, vehicle, or other mode of transportation.

A medical marijuana business includes any location where marijuana is cultivated, processed, distributed, delivered or given away to a qualified patient or caregiver, as well as any vehicle or other mode of transportation used to transport, distribute, deliver, or give away marijuana.

Limited immunity from prohibition is granted to medical marijuana businesses which can establish the following:

  1. Registration under the ICO through a business tax registration or tax exemption certificate issued prior to November 13, 2007;
  2. Notification of intent to register under the MMO, as amended by the TUO, by February 8, 2011;
  3. Registration for taxation under Measure M in 2011 or 2012; and
  4. Compliance with other applicable operating and location restrictions.

Current Cannabis EnforcementIn lieu of our usual discussion of “Proposed Cannabis Laws” (considering that there are currently no published proposed ordinances to speak of), we will instead review how Los Angeles is currently choosing to enforce its existing cannabis laws and policies. Only 135 medical marijuana businesses qualified for limited immunity under Proposition D, which means that all of the other hundreds of businesses currently operating in Los Angeles are operating illegally.

California cannabis lawyersWe’ve written repeatedly about the Los Angeles City Attorney’s efforts to shut down illegal businesses, including offering tips for common pitfalls to avoid under Proposition D. On the Los Angeles City Attorney’s website, there is a list of over 400 criminal cases filed against illegal medical marijuana businesses as of July 7, 2016. The City Attorney has also cracked down on delivery services operating in Los Angeles through several lawsuits, arguing that medical marijuana delivery as a whole is not allowed under Proposition D.

Penalties for operating illegally can be severe. And these penalties don’t just apply to medical marijuana business owners but to landlords and real estate professionals who work with these businesses as well.  Allowing an illegal marijuana business to operate on your property is a misdemeanor punishable by daily fines of $1,000 and up to six months in jail. Add to that an additional daily penalty of $2,500 which can be assessed for a nuisance violation. The City Attorney has already been begun filing criminal complaints against landlords in violation.

Unless you are one of the few businesses lucky enough to receive immunity from the City or you plan to purchase the property owned by one of these lucky few, the blunt truth is that you will not be able to open and operate a legal marijuana business in Los Angeles. Despite this, our California cannabis lawyers continue to receive multiple calls every week requesting advice on how to start new Los Angeles dispensaries, grows, and delivery businesses.

These frequent calls reveal three things: 1) there is still a lot of confusion about what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to marijuana in Los Angeles, and 2) there is an obvious demand for more legal medical marijuana businesses in the city, and 3) Los Angeles should change its local laws sooner rather than later.  Though the City is working with various advocacy groups to implement such changes, the question remains how long those who are interested in operating a legal cannabis business in Los Angeles will have to wait before they can begin preparing for state licensing, which is set to begin in California as early as 2018.


TV_Shows_We_Used_To_Watch_-_1955_Television_advertising_(4934882110)On Friday, one of Portland’s best ad agencies, Sockeye, launched a video advertising campaign for a marijuana beverage. The beverage is called “Legal,” manufactured by one of our long-time clients, Mirth Provisions. While we seldom blog about clients, the catchy ad (which quickly rang up over 7,000 views) got people talking about the nexus between pot and advertising. Among these discussions were write-ups in The Oregonian and the The Portland Mercury. The latter story asserts that the Legal spot is the first ever commercial for a cannabis edible.

We have examined the challenges for industry entrepreneurs when it comes to marijuana advertising, including one year ago today, when we wrote about the ever first television commercial for a cannabis product. That commercial was scheduled for broadcast on a Denver-based ABC affiliate, but pulled at the last second. To our knowledge, it has never graced the airwaves. In the relevant blog post, we explained that:

The Federal Communications Commission regulates and licenses television broadcasters, issuing licenses on an annual basis. There is no FCC regulation expressly prohibiting a televised advertisement of cannabis products in states with legalized cannabis. The FCC, however, renews broadcasters’ licenses each year based, in part, on whether they served the “public interest” during the preceding year. It could be more difficult to satisfy this criterion if broadcasters (arguably) committed a felony by violating Section 843 of the Controlled Substances Act.

At the time, the FCC had not weighed in on cannabis. For better or worse, that is still the case today. Without guidance, broadcasters can only guess as to how interested regulators will be in these ads – even if states like Colorado and Oregon do not prohibit them. Perhaps for this reason, the Legal ad is currently published only on Youtube, and it has not run on any traditional television channels.

In Oregon, advertising for marijuana falls under Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) purview. As such, OAR 845-025-8040 (“Advertising Restrictions”) gives some basic parameters as to what pot ads cannot do, including: contain misleading statements; target minors or use cartoonish images; encourage transport across state lines; make claims as to health effects; display consumption of marijuana items; etc. All of these are similar to advertising strictures for alcohol and tobacco, although the “display consumption” prohibition goes further than regulation for alcohol ads.

The following section, OAR 845-025-8060(2) also provides that a “licensee may not utilize television, radio, billboards, print media or internet advertising unless the licensee has reliable evidence that no more than 30 percent of the audience … is reasonably expected to be under the age of 21.” How the 30% metric is gauged is an open question, and it is only a matter of time before someone trips on this rule and we see a little action. It is also interesting to note that the term “television” includes “any video programming downloaded or streamed via the internet.” 845-025-8020(5). Obviously, this definition is very broad.

Today in Oregon, marijuana billboards and print media abound (especially in the City of Portland), but traditional television and radio ads are scarce or non-existent. Given the nature of FCC regulation, we are not surprised at this dynamic. Still, given the OLCC rules cited above, alongside the fact that the Oregon state constitution has unusually broad protections for speech (including commercial speech), we also expect to see the status quo challenged. Pot entrepreneurs are a fearless lot, and they will begin to push the envelope in different directions.

As they say in the world of television, stay tuned.

Cannabis international trade lawyersOn one of my recent trips to my local pet store, I ended up involved in an unexpected and lengthy conversation with the owner about cannabidiol (CBD) pet treats. We’ve written before about the precarious legal status of CBD, but CBD-infused pet products seem to be flying under the radar.

As an initial matter, is CBD legal under federal law? As we’ve noted in previous posts, the answer depends.

Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), and is federally illegal. Therefore, CBD derived from marijuana violates the CSA. The Drug Enforcement Administration has stated that it believes CBD to be a marijuana derivative and, therefore, a Schedule I drug. However, the CSA does not include in its definition of “marijuana” the “mature stalks” or “sterilized seeds” of the plant. The mature stalks and sterilized seeds constitute hemp products, which are not scheduled under the CSA.

Though the DEA has no enforcement authority with respect to hemp products, it does control hemp cultivation. To cultivate hemp in the U.S., you must have a permit from the DEA; the only exception to this is the 2014 Federal Farm Bill, which allows state departments of agriculture, and universities and colleges to cultivate hemp without a permit from the DEA for educational and research purposes. Because of the prohibition on U.S. hemp cultivation without a DEA permit, the hemp products we purchase in the U.S. typically come from hemp imported from overseas.

Therefore, when we’re talking about CBD products for pets, the only way these products can be legal is if they are derived from imported hemp and not from marijuana. However, the process of extracting CBD from hemp is more involved than from high-resin marijuana plants, and “products with heavily processed ‘pure’ CBD derived from industrial hemp lack the full spectrum of aromatic terpenes and other cannabinoids found in high-resin” plants.

A few different scenarios are possible here. Of course, one is that all of the claims made by the manufacturers of these pet products are true. Another is that the quality of CBD, assuming it is produced from imported stalks and sterilized seeds of hemp, is less than it would be if produced from marijuana plants. And yet another scenario is that the importers of the CBD oil used in these products have not been entirely truthful with customs. Verifying the true origin of CBD oil is difficult for customs officials, particularly given how murky federal law is on the subject. Our international trade lawyers  frequently deal with U.S. customs on behalf of our clients, even on clearly legal cannabis products.

Adding another layer of complexity, generally whenever a company makes a medical claim about a product, including a product for pets, that product is classified as a drug. Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) new drugs are not allowed to enter the U.S. market without first being tested by the FDA, unless they meet the definition of a dietary supplement.

However, the FDA does not consider CBD to be a dietary supplement; it considers CBD to be a new drug. And the FDA has issued warning letters to numerous companies making medical claims about their CBD products.

Setting aside the issue of FDA regulation, let’s go back to the issue surrounding the source of CBD oil. What if you happen to live in a state with legal recreational or medical marijuana? Can state-licensed producers and processors make CBD oil for use in pet products? In Washington, marijuana products must be “intended for human use.” And in Colorado, regulations are based on the FDA standards described above. So neither of these states would allow licensed producers or processors to manufacture products for consumption by pets. However, an issue has recently arisen in Oregon, where the regulations are less clear. And Oregon manufacturers have been making edibles for pets that do not appear to be legal, so far without any legal ramifications.

The bottom line here is that regardless of where you live, if you walk into your local pet store (or place an online order) for CBD pet products, there are currently no standards in place to ensure you are getting what you think you have ordered. Even where companies state on the packaging that the products are imported, the legal status of those products is uncertain, as is their true CBD content and medicinal value.

Illinois and MarijuanaThis is proving to be a big year for cannabis. As a result, we are ranking the fifty states from worst to best on how they treat cannabis and those who consume it. Each of our State of Cannabis posts will analyze one state and our final post will crown the best state for cannabis. As is always the case, but particularly so with this series, we welcome your comments. We have finally crossed the half-way point. The states featured going forward generally have mixed laws when it comes to cannabis. Some good, some bad, and some ugly. Today we turn to number 22: Illinois.

Our previous rankings are as follows: 23. Minnesota; 24. New York; 25. Wisconsin; 26. Arizona; 27. West Virginia; 28. Indiana; 29. North Carolina; 30. Utah;  31. South Carolina; 32. Tennessee; 33. North Dakota; 34.Georgia; 35. Louisiana; 36. Mississippi; 37. Nebraska; 38. Missouri; 39. Florida; 40. Arkansas; 41. Montana; 42. Iowa; 43. Virginia; 44. Wyoming; 45. Texas;  46. Kansas;  47. Alabama;  48. Idaho; 49. Oklahoma;  50. South Dakota.

Continue Reading State of Cannabis: Illinois

Marijuana and IllegalityGreen Party presidential candidate (and physician) Jill Stein really says it all here–marijuana is not dangerous, and keeping it illegal benefits no one and instead puts many in danger. Keeping marijuana illegal fosters a vast illegal market that can itself be unsafe, and marijuana legalization has already started to put an end to that.

In addition, legal cannabis provides medicine to many, has reduced marijuana use by minors, and has generated millions of dollars in tax revenue to legalized states. This tax revenue has proven to be beneficial to many. For example, the city of Aurora, CO, alone has been able to allot $4.5 million to helping fight homelessness. Can you imagine how much revenue would be and could do on a national scale?

Finally, Stein hits the nail on the head at the end of her quote: in addition to the benefits of legal marijuana on a societal and financial level, we also need to recognize that our adult citizens are responsible enough to make their own decisions. We trust adults to drive cars, vote in elections, drink alcohol, and provide for their families, yet for a variety of unsound reasons, the United States continues to prohibit responsible adults from making their own decisions when it comes to cannabis.

It’s senseless, really, and we need to continue fighting for change.

California cannabisThe last couple of weeks have been good for cannabis. First, the Salk Institute released some promising data on the effect cannabinoids have on combatting Alzheimer’s plaque. Then, California’s Secretary of State announced that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) officially made it onto the California ballot for this November. The AUMA looks somewhat similar to the marijuana business regulations in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, with a few of its own wrinkles, as we’ve written before. Prognosticators are generally positive about its chances of passage, and the would-be law has received mostly positive press so far. Continue Reading Will California Marijuana Legalization Make Cannabis Prices Too LOW?

California marijuana laws
California cannabis laws. Change is coming.

Implementation of the MMRSA and the impending vote on the AUMA, are causing big changes to California’s cannabis industry and creating all sorts of new regulatory and business pitfalls for cannabis businesses. And just as we have seen in other states with new and changing cannabis laws, we are seeing a panoply of red flags and nightmare scenarios.

I set forth below the top eight California cannabis industry pitfalls, in an effort to prevent you from becoming a victim of any of them. Continue Reading The Great Eight California Marijuana Industry Pitfalls

California CannabisUntil recently, the “Wild West” of U.S. cannabis lacked robust statewide regulations which left California cannabis companies subject to unclear rules and risk of federal shutdowns. The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) created these regulations, but ultimately left control in the hands of Until recently, the “Wild West” of U.S. cannabis lacked robust statewide regulations which left California cannabis companies subject to unclear rules and risk of federal shutdowns. The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) created these regulations, but ultimately left control in the hands of local cities and counties.

At last count, California has 58 counties and 482 incorporated cities across the state, each with the option to create its own rules or ban marijuana altogether. In this California Cannabis Countdown series, we plan to cover who is banning, who is waiting, and who is embracing the change to legalize marijuana — permits, regulations, taxes and all. For each city and county, we’ll discuss its location, history with cannabis, current law, and proposed law to give you a clearer picture of where to locate your cannabis business, how to keep it legal, and what you will and won’t be allowed to do. Our last California Cannabis Countdown post was on Sonoma County, and before that, the City of Sacramento, the City of BerkeleyCalaveras CountyMonterey County and the City of Emeryville.

Welcome to the California Cannabis Countdown.

Desert Hot Springs found the solution to its financial troubles in the recent California green rush. In 2014, it became the first California city to pass local ordinances to permit large-scale, commercial cultivation of medical marijuana. The city has since approved permits for several sizable cultivation sites which are expected to begin operations this year.

Location. Desert Hot Springs is located in the deserts of Southern California within the Coachella Valley region. As such, it is subject to a hot and dry climate. It is located near an aquifer that supplies the city with hot mineral water used in spas and resorts for tourists as well as fresh water for city residents which has received rewards for its exceptional taste.

History with Cannabis. In 2014, Desert Hot Springs declared a fiscal emergency, and in an effort to obtain financial solvency, the City Council voted to legalize medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation.

On October 21, 2014, the City Council passed Ordinance Nos. 552 and 553 to regulate and permit medical marijuana facilities.

On November 4, 2014, the voters of Desert Hot Springs passed measures to create marijuana taxes for the sale and cultivation of medical marijuana within the city. The measures also included future marijuana taxes for if and when recreational use of marijuana is legalized or decriminalized in California.

Current Cannabis Laws. Medical marijuana facilities operating in Desert Hot Springs are required to obtain both a regulatory permit for the operation of the facility and a conditional use permit for the location of the facility. Medical marijuana facilities encompass dispensaries as well as cultivation sites.

Under Chapter 5.50 of the City Code, medical marijuana facilities that wish to receive and maintain a regulatory permit will need to comply with several operating requirements. Facilities must have a comprehensive security plan and may only be open during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. All marijuana must be kept secured and if marijuana edibles are sold at the facility then approval of health services is required for handling food products. Facilities must also utilize an electronic point of sale system and specific odor control measures.

Under Chapter 17.180 of the City Code, to qualify for a conditional use permit, dispensaries must be located in Commercial Districts and are limited to growing no more than 99 plants on site. Cultivation facilities that grow more than 99 plants must be located in Industrial Districts and only indoor cultivation is allowed.

Permitted medical marijuana businesses are required to pay a monthly 10% distribution tax on the proceeds from any sales or provisions of medical marijuana. Cultivation facilities owe an additional annual cultivation tax based on the size of their cultivation space, at a rate of of twenty-five dollars ($25) per square foot for the first 3,000 square feet and then ten dollars ($10) per square foot for any remaining space.

There are no permit caps or cultivation size limits currently in place in Desert Hot Springs. However, many are finding that the harsh desert climate makes building the necessary infrastructure for operations a timely and expensive process. But that hasn’t deterred prospective investors and business owners from flocking to the city to set up massive cultivation sites primed and ready for state licensing in 2018 and for the possible legalization of adult use marijuana later this year.

For cities like Desert Hot Springs, the potential tax revenue from new marijuana businesses is an attractive enticement for local marijuana legalization. Something to keep in mind for those still struggling to convince their local cities and counties to implement marijuana ordinances.

imagesLast Friday, the Oregonian published a nice piece by Noelle Crombie about the potential shortage of marijuana testing labs. As a law firm that represents a great number of cannabis growers, we have been monitoring this situation for quite some time. In fact, we have suggested that if you want a nice angle on the local industry, a lab just might be a great place to start. This is partly because the next lab applicant will be only number 9, as compared to 774 recreational producers applicants to date.

The administrative rules specific to lab testing became final last month, and Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has been clear that no product will flow through to retail unless that product has been tested and comes up clean. This means that labs will serve captive customers and that lab revenues may be strongly correlated to operational efficiencies, rather than market opportunity. It also goes without saying that with very few labs, the industry could become bottlenecked.

We can think of a few primary reasons people are not applying for the OLCC lab license. First, testing marijuana is simply not as exciting, or even interesting, to most people as growing it. Second, unlike growing marijuana, almost no one has any experience or proven expertise in running a pot testing lab. Third, the road to becoming an OLCC licensed lab is long (though not fraught with peril). And fourth, due to the need for specialized equipment and experienced staff, start-up costs may be higher than in other industry business lines.

As to the process for acquiring a lab license, applicants must first become accredited by the Oregon Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ORELAP), which qualifies state labs for a variety of testing programs, such as the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. According to the ORELAP cannabis accreditation website, the “accreditation process takes several months” and for this reason, ORELAP “strongly recommends that laboratories… apply as soon as possible.” Once accredited, a lab must also clear the OLCC application process, which itself takes time (although our guess is that OLCC will hustle on lab applications). The OLCC license cost is $5,000.

While the start-up costs and accreditation processes for labs are not to be taken lightly, this business line appears underexploited at present. And while administrative licensing and start-up costs may seem like high hurdles, the reality is that we have helped many, many clients navigate an evolving thicket of state and local rules for cannabis related activities; and we have aided many others in raising millions of dollars to fund their marijuana start-ups. Certainly, the lab trade is within reach.

So here’s hoping that the supply demand curve rights itself with labs. It seems that anyone who takes this industry approach has a chance to do well.


Cannabis trademarksIt is a widely accepted reality that obtaining a federal trademark registration for use on cannabis-related goods presents a host of unique challenges, but what aren’t widely discussed are the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) reasons for rejecting many cannabis trademark applications. The reason we hear frequently touted for rejection is the Lanham Act’s prohibition of marks that contain “immoral or scandalous matter.” However, this typically is not the reasoning an examining attorney will rely on in rejecting an application. In this post, I’m going to break down the nitty-gritty of how and why the USPTO can and does reject cannabis trademark applications.

Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1052(a), bars any trademark registration of immoral, deceptive or scandalous matter. Some characteristics of a mark that can result in rejection include references to sex, offense to religion or to honor, and references to illegality. Interpretation of this prohibition is both subjective and fluid, creating a good deal of uncertainty as to what actually constitutes “immoral or scandalous” matter. And there are many sources that claim this provision of the Trademark Act to be the basis for rejection of cannabis-related applications, which is typically not the case.

Most rejections of cannabis-related trademark applications are based not on the prohibition of “immoral or scandalous” matter, but on the failure of the application to make “legal use” of the mark in commerce. Here is a sampling of the language you might encounter in a rejection from your examining attorney:

In addition, applicant must submit a written statement indicating whether the goods and/or services identified in the application comply with the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), 21 U.S.C. §§801-971. See 37 C.F.R. §2.69; TMEP §907.

Breaking down this requirement, 37 C.F.R. §2.69 states as follows:

Compliance with other laws: When the sale or transportation of any product for which registration of a trademark is sought is regulated under an Act of Congress, the Patent and Trademark Office may make appropriate inquiry as to compliance with such Act for the sole purpose of determining lawfulness of the commerce recited in the application.

Note that this provision states that the examining attorney “may” make inquiry, and does not explicitly state that use in commerce must be “lawful.” That requirement comes from section 907 of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP), which is meant only to provide “outlines” and “guidelines.” Here’s what the TMEP has to say: “Use of a mark in commerce must be lawful use to be the basis for federal registration of the mark.” Gray v. Daffy Dan’s Bargaintown, 823 F.2d 522, 3 USPQ2d 1306, 1308 (Fed. Cir. 1987).

In looking to the Gray case for language requiring legal use in commerce, there isn’t much to go on aside from a passing mention of “lawful use in commerce,” which was not the issue the Court addressed in its opinion. This lack of clear case and statutory law pertaining to the “legal use in commerce” requirement raises the issue of whether the requirement has been misconstrued, and may make some of these rejections ripe for challenge.

The takeaway here is that the inability to obtain a federal trademark registration for a mark used on cannabis is not as clear-cut as many assume. There is policy at play, and, particularly in this industry, policy is apt to change at any time.