Article by Steven Jackson, The Jamaica Gleaner
More than a dozen applications to register ganja or marijuana trademarks are before the Jamaica Intellectual Property Office (JIPO), but the status of most is still pending.
There are two herbal teas, two ganja cafes, a number of festival trademarks and clothing lines, including a Ganja Babie, in JIPO’s database.
Trademarks represent the physical brand or logo associated with a business entity. And companies tend to be protective of their names – for example, one of the trademark applications in Jamaica was dropped after social media company Instagram LLC objected.
So far, the successful registrations of 17 for ‘ganja and marijuana’ include: Caribbean Dreams High Grade Ganja Tea owned by Jamaican Teas Limited since August 2016; Ganja Cup and Medical Ganja Cup, registered in March 2016 by Trans High Corporation; and 16Ganja owned by Prime Sports Jamaica as a lottery symbol for its games registered June 2016.
“We registered a name in anticipation of being able to get into ganja tea,” said Jamaican Teas CEO John Mahfood, while indicating the rollout of the product was still subject to Government’s legislative agenda.
“We understand that there is still a lot to be done in terms of regulation,” he said, noting it as a precursor to the development of products “in a form that people can consume”. For instance, the potency level would require legal standards, he reasoned.