In the dynamic world of the cannabis market, businesses face unique challenges, particularly when it comes to trademarking cannabis-related products. Understanding the crucial distinction between hemp and marijuana is essential due to their differing legal statuses.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

The 2018 Farm Bill marked a pivotal shift by reclassifying hemp—defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC—as separate from marijuana. This change permits the legal production, distribution, and sale of hemp-derived products, including CBD, across state lines. Conversely, marijuana remains federally illegal and classified as a Schedule I substance, despite its legal status in several states.

Hemp Products

Securing federal trademarks for hemp-based products is now more feasible since hemp is no longer considered a controlled substance. I ensure that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) applications for hemp and hemp-derived products comply with the legal requirement of containing less than 0.3% THC. It’s also critical to adhere to the Controlled Substances Act and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, especially for ingestible or topical products containing CBD.

Marijuana Products

Trademarking marijuana-related products presents complexities due to the plant’s federal illegality. The USPTO refuses to register trademarks for goods deemed illegal under federal law. Nevertheless, I help businesses seek trademarks for ancillary goods and services not directly involving the marijuana plant, such as educational services or smoking accessories. Additionally, state trademark registrations provide localized protection within states where marijuana is legal.

Branding Strategy

In the competitive cannabis market, a robust branding strategy is vital. It differentiates your business, fosters customer loyalty, and reflects the quality and ethos of your product. Businesses must stay adaptable to potential changes in federal law and policy.


Trademarking in the cannabis industry requires an informed and proactive approach. I guide businesses through the distinctions between hemp and marijuana and tailor strategies for effective branding and trademark compliance. If you’re navigating the complexities of trademarking in the cannabis sector, contact me to ensure your brand is protected and compliant.

I am Michael Jones, the managing member at Jones Intellectual Property, specializing in all aspects of intellectual property, including patent, trademark, and copyright law. Reach out to me at for expert guidance on your intellectual property needs.
Michael Jones Michael Jones is the founder and managing member of Jones Intellectual Property, whose mission is to provide his clients with personalized, effective legal solutions. Michael has focused on creating, protecting, and advocating for his clients’ intellectual property rights throughout his career. View Bio