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Cultivators in the United States have been breeding new Cannabis cultivars since the 1960s, seeking to combine or enhance cultivar characteristics such as yield, flavor, aroma, potency, and neurological/physiological effects. Both federal legalization of hemp (i.e., less than 0.3% THC) and increasing state legalization of marijuana have brought about considerable financial opportunities for companies that develop commercially desirable cultivars. But, the development, refinement, and stabilization of Cannabis cultivars requires substantial investments of time and money. However, options for protecting those investments through intellectual property (IP) safeguards remain limited for marijuana cultivars. 

Relevant IP protections for Cannabis cultivars include plant patents, plant variety protection certificates, and utility patents. Below, we provide an overview of each; but, before diving in further, we note that the need for seed deposits to obtain certain IP protections may present an insurmountable hurdle. United States depositories will not take seeds or tissue derived from marijuana cultivars (i.e., greater than or equal to 0.3% THC). Industry innovators would be well-served by considering their IP strategy before federal marijuana legalization removes these impediments.

Plant Patents

Plant patents protect any new and distinct variety of plant that has been asexually reproduced. Unlike trademark law, patent law has no legal

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Legal marijuana’s place in college education is still limited, but it’s starting to pay off for some University of Denver graduates.

The university’s Sturm College of Law and its media and journalism programs have offered classes centered on legal weed since 2015, with the Daniels School of Business following suit in 2017. And now, alumni are beginning to make their marks on the nation’s burgeoning industry.

“I was picking classes for my last quarter and thought it looked cool,” remembers Sarah Gerson, a former student of DU’s Business in Marijuana course. Gerson is currently the community manager of Cultivated Synergy, a co-working space that also hosts private cannabis-friendly parties. She met the founder, who was a speaker in the class, began emailing him, and eventually applied for a job.

– Read the entire article at Westword.

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t’s been nine months since Canadian actor, writer, producer, and director Seth Rogen co-founded his Cannabis brand Houseplant with his childhood friend and “Pineapple Express” creator and screenwriter, Evan Goldberg. Launched in April of last year, in partnership with corporate giant Canopy Growth Corporation CGC 2.93% , the Toronto-based business has managed to leave their mark by offering a variety of high quality Sativa, Indica and Hybrid strains, all sold in well-designed, colorful packages.

The company has been growing steadily during 2019 and it’s not just their product rollout that’s caught the fans’ attention. The comedian recently told Forbes, Houseplant is “immensely focused on providing an elevated and educational experience that’s easy to grasp” – which is why the brand is stepping up to the table in matters of social equity and Cannabis legalization in the United States.

– Read the entire article at Bezinga.

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Arizona hemp farmers may be feeling a bit panicked after the state’s Department of Agriculture’s Plant Services Division published a report stating that 41 percent of the hemp plants they tested had THC levels that were too high. 

“It’s a high-risk deal,” said head farmer for Arizona Hemp Supply Co. Dustin Shill. “Right now, it’s just a shot in the dark really. It’s crazy.”

A Plant Services Division authority called the numbers “not unexpected,” but they were a call for alarm for some hemp business leaders. 

“At 40%, that’s off the charts,” said Sully Sullivan, executive director of the Hemp Industry Trade Association of Arizona in reaction to the state’s released figures. “I’m taken aback by that. That’s substantial.”

Hemp farmers must test the THC limits on their products before going to harvest, and paying for such evaluations is often a hefty budget item. If hemp tests above the 0.3 percent legal limit for THC, farmers have no choice but to destroy their crop. In a relatively young hemp industry, that has happened often. In November, one Southern California farmer saw 10 million of their cannabis plants seized after the field tested too high on THC levels, causing a loss

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File this one under “a bit too on the nose.” 

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis (OEA) offered up a statistical nugget in a report last week that would seem like a corny joke if it weren’t true. 

In a study published Friday, OEA economist Josh Lehner wrote that cannabis sales along the Idaho border were “much stronger” than he anticipated.

“Furthermore, and in things you cannot make up, Oregon sales per adult along the Idaho border are 420% the statewide average,” wrote Lehner.

Readers of this publication need no explanation—but mainstream news outlets like the Associated Press and CNN, both of which covered the anomaly, were there to provide one. 

“The number 420 is a colloquial term referencing marijuana or cannabis consumption,” deadpanned the AP.

The Border Effect

Beyond the amusing tidbit, the OEA, which provides forecasts for legislators and policymakers in Oregon, detailed some other intriguing findings in the study.

Lehner’s report focused on “border effects,” which he wrote “can arise when neighboring jurisdictions have different rules, regulations or tax rates for the same industry or product.” 

Idaho, where recreational marijuana remains illegal, invites such analysis given that it borders Washington and Oregon, where pot is legal.

“Obviously

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A review of research published this week is leading doctors to warn that the use of cannabis may interact with medications used to treat cardiovascular disease. The review was published online by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on Monday.

Dr. Muthiah Vaduganathan, a cardiologist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a lead author of the study, says that using marijuana can affect the efficacy of some medications used to treat cardiovascular disease, including statins and blood thinners. Because these drugs and cannabis are broken down in the liver by the same enzymes, marijuana use can increase the time they stay in the body, effectively increasing the dose.

For example, one study published last year found that using cannabis can interact with the effectiveness of the popular blood thinner warfarin. Patients who are using the drug may need to reduce the dose by as much as 30% to avoid excessive bleeding. Marijuana can also increase the potency of statins, potentially causing a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Vaduganathan advises patients to discuss their marijuana use with their doctors.

“The first step is having an open discussion with clinicians, because it does influence some parts of

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