Partners at Sideman & Bancroft outline the issues the cannabis industry faces when it comes to inauthentic products—and how they can be. Cannabis companies face unique risks when products are counterfeited—from manufacturers risking their licenses to dispensaries unwittingly. Counterfeiting in Cannabis: How to Protect Your Brand Cannabis Business Times. Partners at Sideman & Bancroft outline the issues the.
How Your Counterfeiting to in Brand Protect Cannabis:
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Don't miss intelligence crucial to your job and business! Logistics for the Life Sciences. Cannabis manufacturers continue to battle counterfeit goods, and some, such as Brass Knuckles, have issued notices to consumers that describe how to ensure a product is real, as well as how to spot fake products that bear their brand name. According to Brass Knuckles, misspellings in strain names, as well as the lack of child-proof packaging and state-compliant labeling, indicate that a product is not authentic.
On the retail side of the industry, dispensaries must purchase products from within the state-regulated supply chain and take steps to ensure they are purchasing authentic goods. We got them at a discount. Dispensary owners should know where authentic products are actually manufactured and the set distribution chain that a brand owner utilizes to get their products out to market, she adds. If another seller surfaces and says they have a particular product available, retailers should contact the brand owner and ask if the source is an authorized reseller and if the product is authentic.
And if a dispensary unwittingly ends up with counterfeit products and resells them, it is a strict liability issue, McCarthy says. If a dispensary finds out they have purchased counterfeit goods after the transaction is over—from a customer or a report from the brand—then the products should be immediately pulled from the shelves, McCarthy says. Next, the retailer should reach out to the brand owner and let them know that it has received counterfeit products.
The manufacturer may want the fake goods to aid them in an investigation with law enforcement. The dispensary may also want to call law enforcement on their end, especially if there have been reports of significant safety concerns surrounding the counterfeit products, such as consumers being injured.
Most importers do not do this, which means that it is relatively rare for Customs to release any goods that it has seized under a Notice of Objection. Previously, goods would be automatically returned to the importer after a specified time period if the brand owner did not commence infringement proceedings or convince the importer to forfeit the goods during that time.
Putting a Notice of Objection in place to enable the detection and seizure of counterfeit goods at the Australian border is a relatively simple and inexpensive measure which can have a long-lasting impact on importation and sale of counterfeit goods in Australia. Monitoring the Australian marketplace can be as simple or as wide-ranging as a brand owner would like it to be, but obviously the more wide-ranging the scope of the monitoring, the more likely that counterfeit goods will be identified as early as possible.
An effective monitoring regime should include regular reviews of the online marketplace on a monthly, bi-monthly, 6-monthly or annual basis, depending on the type of product and how quickly it can be turned over in the marketplace , through general internet searches, and specific searches of online stores such as eBay, Amazon or Gumtree.
Reviews of the physical marketplace can be carried out by a local distributor, trade mark investigator or agent regularly visiting shopping centres and market stalls, and reviewing the catalogues of known infringers. Depending on the type of product, the scope of the physical monitoring can usually be targeted to specific types of stores where the counterfeit goods are most likely to be sold.
Once counterfeit goods have been identified in the marketplace, a trade mark owner has a number of options for enforcing its rights in order to have the goods removed from sale. A number of other options might also be appropriate depending on the circumstances of the case.
Protecting your brand in the marketplace: lessons to learn from counterfeit OMO washing powder
Kathryn McCall and Kelly McCarthy on “Counterfeiting in Cannabis: How to Protect Your Brand” for the Cannabis Business Times. January by Melissa . However, for now, marijuana companies face unique challenges when developing their brands and protecting their trademarks. As more states legalize recreational cannabis and as more companies build up their brand names and reputations, we have no doubt the issue.