Cannabis Trademarks

Cannabis TM

The Cannabis Act comes into effect October 17, 2018. Already this year, over 500 trademark applications were filed in Canada for cannabis related products and services.

If you are starting a Cannabis business, you need to be aware of certain restrictions on the promotion of cannabis products and services. Particularly, these restrictions will limit the types of trademarks that can be used for your cannabis business.

Brand Elements

Under the Cannabis Act, brand elements is defined as including a brand name, trademark, tradename, distinguishing guise, logo, graphic arrangement, design or slogan that is reasonably associated with, or that evokes,

(a) cannabis, a cannabis accessory or a service related to cannabis; or

(b) a brand of any cannabis, cannabis accessory or service related to cannabis.

Promotion Restrictions under the Cannabis Act

Some of the promotion restrictions under the Act that will limit the trademarks you can adopt include:

1) cannot promote in a manner that there are reasonable grounds to believe could be appealing to young persons;

2) cannot promote by means of the depiction of a person, character or animal, whether real or fictional;

3) cannot present the brand and/or brand elements in a manner that associates it with, or evokes a positive or negative emotion about or image of, a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.

These restrictions will be very limiting on what trademarks a cannabis business can adopt and use. As well, the third restriction appears to be open to interpretation.


There are some exceptions to the promotion restrictions. For example, one exception is informational promotion by telecommunication means that is addressed and sent to an individual who is 18 years or older and is identified by name.

Secure your trademark

In 2018, over 500 Canadian trademark applications were filed for cannabis products and services.

Don't wait! Contact Sander Law today to secure your rights with a trademark application for your brand.

The above content is for informational purposes only and is not legal or professional advice.