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AMA with Alan The CEO of Strainly Wed. Oct 3rd 11 AM PST

Are you ready to learn about strains, genetics and cannabis intellectual property?

Who: Alan CEO of
What: Genetics and Cannabis Intellectual Property
Where: Growers Network Forum
When : Wednesday, October 3rd at 11 AM PST

Strainly is a peer-to-peer cannabis strains exchange web app with a review mechanism. It allows legal cannabis growers and breeders (medical or recreational purpose) to trade marijuana seeds, clones and/or pollen as well as have easier access to a variety of cannabis strains to grow and breed. Whether growers are looking for irie indicas, stony sativas, hazy hybrids or even a random ruderalis, users can browse, filter and find their ideal cultivars while benefiting from a rating/review mechanism; fostering a newfound trust among the cannabis community.

Want to chat with the founder of Strainly? @Strainly is here. Alan is a valuable regular member of our community and is here to help. Feel free to reach out and say “High”


I’ve heard a grower say that labeling a particular strain as indica or sativa is subjective based on the grower’s personal experience during sampling, and not really characterized by the strain itself. What are your thoughts on this?


I am very much looking forward to this AMA! I want to take a sec to thank @Strainly for taking time to be with us today!

I have a few questions about IP I definitely want to ask you…


Firstly, can a cannabis strain be trademarked? If so, under what are the conditions make this possible?


Any name or brand can be trademarked under the usual trademarking terms and conditions defined by the USPTO in the US. When it comes to cannabis, we can question whether a trademark is enforceable, given that the USPTO is a federal agency and that cannabis is still schedule 1 at the federal level.

There have been few examples of trademarks issued in the cannabis space but what does it imply for a trademark holder to enforce their rights in court (in case of infringement)? Can you self-incriminate yourself in the process? I haven’t seen examples of such situations yet…

In Canada, it is possible to trademark a name or brand, and there isn’t any limitation to cannabis strain names. Some LPs are possibly considering the option…

However, all names already being used (even if not trademarked), cannot be trademarked by a third party. You would have to come with a new name, never used before, to be able to trademark it. A trademark clearance need to happen (you need to check that the name hasn’t been used before by whatever company in whatever industry). The example of Gorilla Glue is probably the most famous on the topic…

Breeders should be careful not to use existing brand names to name their strains…


Interesting. So aside from the Gorilla Glue case, can you think of any other litigation that has arisen from growers/breeders/retailers infringing on existing trademarks?


There are potentially a number that come to mind… from very different domains.

AK47 is trademarked by weapon manufacturer Kalashnikov, ACDC is also trademarked after the band… strains named after car models are risky too… there are potentially many strains infringing trademarks. The challenge is to find the breeder who committed such infringement… which is probably a good thing…

Note that, even if not trademarked, a first user may request a breeder to stop using their names, and this is receivable in court. Trademarks do reinforce the exclusive use of your name though, especially from a geography perspective.

With the emergence of cannabis from underground to a legal product, the entire community will need to be careful not to get exposed to trademark infringement.

Retailers, being easier to identify, may decide to remove risky strain names from their shelves, and eventually breeders will need to take this new constraint into account.

Now… there shouldn’t be any need for breeders to trademark their strain names. As long as they are first users and make it public, the strain name can’t be used by a third party without their OK.


I guess my days of rolling up some AK-47 may be numbered, eh?

What might be the potential risks to the community at large in regards to trademark infringement?


How might a breeder prove that he or she was the first to use a strain name? What happens if another grower/breeder challenges the claim? Have you known of any instances of this occurring?


You may roll the same weed, but the label may change… :slight_smile:


How do I watch?


Never heard of a such a situation before. The Federal legislation must keep people shy from such litigations. It is also a question of affording the lawyers…

In order to prove you have been the first to use it, you must demonstrate that you have issued the strain with its name at a certain date, on your website, or any other mean to make it available to the public. Through brick and mortar shops, websites etc.

This is not easy.

On Strainly, the date of when the listing was published is public, so this can be used to demonstrate that your strain was made available to the public since such a date.


The conversation is all happening here…

However, if you want to watch something…


Hi Alan,

Really really interesting things you guys are doing over there at Strainly,. I’m curious, what’s your background and how did you get into cannabis genetics?



Allllright, GNET @memberdirectory, this AMA is off to a fantastic start! We have @Strainly joining us today. We all have the privilege of directly asking the founder of Strainly all those questions about cannabis genetics. C’mon over an join the party!



Background in IT and the reason Strainly was launched is because of what happened with the streamlining of crops genetics in “conventional” farming after chemical companies took over the genetics with patent-driven breeding.

Cannabis existing under many diverse forms, the idea came from the willingness to keep this biodiverisity alive by connecting those who preserved and bred the plant until legalization


As someone who is not a grower/breeder - is it true that if a sativa is harvested longer than it’s typical intended cycle, the CBN % may increase, causing the sativa to have more indica like effects?


(this is re: the question above from @growernick and @strainly about trademark. Sorry if I’m formatting; replying incorrectly - I’m new here!)


Don’t know the answer to this.
First, there are different sativa cultivars, so that would be hard to generalize.
Second, there should be tests to compare the different scenarios applied to an identical plant to validate this hypothesis.

Can’t answer this. Sorry Jessica.


CBN is my next project.
If a cannabis/hemp species is cropped early or let go it doesn’t guarantee any specifc cannabinoids % they do covert but not consistently
The theory is common, but in general what I find is that it’s purely genetic and can occur in any strains even hemp.
There is some strains higher in CBN
Animals cookies, Ace of Spades, Destroyer and I believe Magic Jordan
But CBN is a good one to pursue.