Yo, what’s good fam? It’s your boy Dan here, and I gotta say, the legal marijuana game is getting wilder by the day! Big Tobacco, known for their influence in the tobacco industry, is now trying to get in on the action and make a quick buck off of the flourishing cannabis market.
These bigwig companies are trying to use their resources and well-established distribution networks to penetrate the highly profitable legal cannabis sector. But here’s where it gets tricky – these tobacco giants are attacking some of the most popular choices among cannabis consumers – pre-rolls and cones!
The tobacco companies are making some crazy claims against major cannabis companies and even celebs associated with them. They’re saying that commonly used products in the rolling paper industry, like pre-rolled cones and organic hemp papers, should be considered paraphernalia!
One of these companies, Altria – the owner of Marlboro, is trying to come for legal marijuana. They’re either trying to buy out smaller competitors or attack them with some bogus trademark lawsuits. These lawsuits seem to have some hidden motives.
Take for example the case of RAW, one of the most popular rolling paper brands out there. They recently got hit with a lawsuit from Republic Brands – a tobacco company owned by Don Levin. Republic makes and sells OCB, Top, Job, and Zig Zag rolling papers. They filed a lawsuit against HBI International, the parent company of RAW, claiming that RAW’s papers were made specifically for use with marijuana.
Republic’s attorneys presented their case in federal court stating that cones were developed in the 1990s specifically for holding marijuana. They argued that pre-rolled cones violated the Controlled Substances Act in relation to drug paraphernalia. The court documents included various social media images from RAW ads showing Miley Cyrus and Wiz Khalifa using the cones.
RAW faced criticism for claiming that their papers were made in Alcoy, Spain, which is known for producing renowned Bambú papers and other brands. Republic tried to invalidate RAW’s trademark by arguing that they aimed to make cones and other materials used for consuming cannabis illegal. But that’s just straight-up crazy talk!
HBI International fired back with a counterclaim against Republic, but the court ruled in favor of HBI’s counterclaim. Republic was found to have infringed on one of HBI’s copyrights and trade dress and was ordered to pay over $1 million in lost profits and statutory damages. These tobacco companies are playing dirty and trying to eliminate their competition.
But it’s not just RAW that’s facing legal challenges. Some tobacco companies are even going after cannabis brands by accusing them of violating state and federal trademark laws by using logos similar to theirs! It’s a mess out here, and it’s all about corporate greed.
The legal marijuana industry is still growing, and with Big Tobacco’s interest and involvement, it’s only going to get more complicated. These trademark disputes and lawsuits are just the beginning. As established players try to protect their trademarks and market share, smaller competitors will face more scrutiny.
As consumers, we need to be aware of these shady practices and support cannabis companies that are doing things right. We need to demand fair competition and hold these big corporations accountable for their actions. It’s time to take a stand against corporate greed in the legal marijuana industry!