On May 20, Charlotte’s Web, the Colorado-based CBD giant and arguably one of the biggest names in legal cannabis, announced that the company was awarded its second federal patent on a cannabis plant.
Unlike the company’s 2018 plant patent on a Farm Bill-compliant high-CBD hemp cultivar—which was the first hemp strain to receive federal intellectual property protection—US Patent No. 10,653,085 is a utility patent.
This means, after satisfying a more rigorous process, including dropping off thousands of seeds at an official United States depository, Charlotte’s Web now claims as its intellectual property both the cultivar of hemp the company calls CW1AS1 as well as “methods” of plant production and cannabinoid extraction.
Okay! But so what? Why patent a hemp strain—why patent two? What does it all mean? Does Charlotte’s Web now have legal claim to the entire CBD game?To the last question, no. And as for what this means, for normal people and cannabis consumers, very little. For patent attorneys or competitors of Charlotte’s Web in the CBD industry, it portends a little more, but just a little.
At least for now, cannabis patents like this one aren’t really intended to defend intellectual property in court—which is where a patent has its most practical value.
No, this patent is probably meant for the market. Patents like this exist mostly for companies to satisfy and woo investors, for whom a company’s ability to say “Look! I have a patent” might be the difference between signing a check, or not. And like all publicly traded cannabis companies, Charlotte’s Web has a lot of spooked and angry investors who need pleasing. (More)
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