For three tantalizing months, the medical marijuana industry thought it had a chance to finally be recognized by a federal agency. The US Patent and Trademark Office had created a new trademark category specifically for medical marijuana, and dealers from all 14 states where the stuff is legal bombarded it with would-be brands and business names. But last week, the office removed the category—right after getting questions about it from the Wall Street Journal.
Coincidence? Perhaps. On Tuesday, after getting questions from the Journal, an office spokesman said the category would be gone by the end of the week. “It raises examination issues,” he said. “It was a mistake, and we removed it.” Entrepreneurs who had dreamed of protecting products like, “Keef Cola,” “Tartukan Death Weed” or “The Canny Bus” were devastated. “It looked like a positive step to me,” said one dispensary executive.