Innovators Rushing to Patent Cannabis Tech Before Legalization
An article from IPWatchdog (please see link below) highlights the growing number of cannabis patents in the United States. In 2016, there were only 14 patents registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) related to cannabis tech. That climbed to 29 in 2017 and 39 to November 2018.
The growing number seems to indicate a rush to market for those who see cannabis legalization in the US as inevitable – perhaps as early as 2019. Currently, cannabis legalization has happened at the state level for many states, including Ohio which recently started allowing medical cannabis.
Cannabis patents filed in the US including a cannabinoid (CBD) toothpaste, a frozen dietary supplement, and single-serve coffee pods. The health and beauty sector may be the epicentre of the new CBD movement. Already, Neiman Marcus is selling CBD-based beauty products – a form of cannabis tech in itself.
Canadian Cannabis Tech Also Benefiting
Canada has its own cannabis tech sector as well. Winnipeg-based Delta 9 started selling its Grow Pods after outside buyers became interested in their internal program. Delta 9 converts old shipping containers into self-contained grow op units for scalability and quality control.
Other Canadian cannabis tech companies include Braingrid, FluroTech, and BlockStrain. Some investors are looking at the ancillary cannabis market as a way into cannabis investments, including cannabis tech companies.
The big licensed producers aren’t being left behind in the cannabis tech race, either. According to IPWatch, Canopy Growth spent $1.94 million on research and development. Aurora Cannabis spent $3.43 million during the first quarter of 2019.
Part of the reason for the rise of cannabis tech – and in turn, cannabis patents – is that cannabis is notoriously difficult to grow. Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to growing quality cannabis. Smaller licensed producers including craft cannabis growers can better control quality than larger operations.
The market could potentially become global, which could have huge implications for cannabis tech and cannabis patents. More countries around the world are taking steps to legalization, and even the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends removing cannabis from the international list of most dangerous drugs. Many see this as a step towards cannabis acceptance.
Legalization within the United States alone would likely cause an explosion of cannabis patents for all types of cannabis tech from consumables to equipment to help grow and process cannabis.