Some pretty cool news: on Thursday, Vireo Health International, Inc. (“Vireo”) announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) finally issued a Notice of Allowance for its patent application filed back in March 2017 – ““Tobacco Products with Cannabinoid Additives and Methods for Reducing the Harm Associated with Tobacco Use.”
Receiving a Notice of Allowance is the final step in the long patent application process (in this case, two years, which seems to be a little above the average). It’s issued when the assigned patent examiner has finished reviewing all the information about the invention (including the description, design, drawings, etc.), and is 100% satisfied that the application is entitled to the patent under the law. Once the Notice of Allowance is issued, all the applicant usually has left to take care of is paying the issue and publication fees (within three months from the date of mailing of the notice of Allowance). In some cases, the applicant might also have to submit revised or final drawings of the invention. Once all that’s taken care of, the applicant will be mailed an Issue Notification that includes the patent number and anticipated issue date.
Circling back to Vireo – its website describes the corporation as a “physician-founded, patient-focused company dedicated to providing best-in-class cannabis-based products and unrivaled care.” The subject patent application covers “cannabis-based additives” that can be incorporated into tobacco products to reduce the overall harmful effects that come with tobacco use. This novel application of cannabis covers the use of one or more carefully formulated cannabinoids as harm reducing agents in tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco and smokeless tobacco products. As Vireo’s CEO, Kyle Kingsley, commented:
This patent is a component of our strategy to disrupt the tobacco industry and help save lives. As a physician, I am passionate about finding ways to use cannabis to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco. We look forward to collaborating with research institutions and tobacco companies committed to developing less harmful tobacco products.”
Not only is this exciting cannabis patent news, it’s also exciting for the general health and wellness space that seems to be gaining more traction every year. Vireo has reported that the potential benefits of this patent, which allows incorporation of cannabinoid additives in tobacco products, includes reduction in irritation, inflammation, and carcinogenicity. Now that the issuance of Vireo’s patent is finally imminent, it’ll be really interesting to see what Vireo achieves through it in the coming years.
For more on cannabis patents, check out the following posts:
- Cannabis Patents: The 101
- How to Read a Cannabis Patent
- Do Cannabis Patents Create Monopolies?
- Mystery Cannabis Litigation Theatre 2017: Future Enforcement of Pot Patents
- Open Cannabis Project: The Fight to Get Marijuana Patents Right
- Breaking News: First Cannabis Patent Lawsuit Filed
- Cannabis Patents are Approaching the Patent Trial and Appeal Board
- Cannabis Patent Litigation Update: Is Extraction and Preparation Prior Art?
- Cannabis Patents: The Potential Power of the PCT Application