Marijuana and Patent Law

Although cannabis is still illegal at a federal level, a majority of states in the U.S have now legalized it for either recreational or medical use.  Illegality of cannabis being illegal has not stopped the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) from issuing patents on related to the plant, as the USPTO has been issuing cannabis-related patents since 1942.  Nevertheless, research shows that as a result of the dichotomy between the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) and the USPTO, inventors may be timid when it comes to applying for patent protection when cannabis is involved.