Canada will make its mark in history on October 17, 2018, when recreational cannabis will be legalized in Canada. There will be a huge influx of products and services that will be available to consumers in the next few years. With an industry expected to generate billions of dollars in revenues, new businesses will be created, which will lead to an increase in competition.
The ability to distinguish one’s products and services from others, and to capitalize on innovation, is called your competitive advantage. It is what sets you apart from your competition. Experience shows that this advantage is usually linked to some form of intellectual property (IP), and the cannabis industry will be no exception.
- Your brand identity and logo.
- Your proprietary technologies and methodologies.
- Your cannabis-related inventions, such as:
New machines for harvesting, processing or manufacturing.
Consumption devices: inhalers, patches, vaporizers and nebulizers.
Methods of cultivation and extraction of the plant.
- Your harvest: Cannabis plants, seeds, strains and cross-breeds.
These all represent some form of intellectual property, which can be used to set you apart from your competitors.
So what will you do with what sets you apart? Will you adopt an offensive strategy to protect your income stream and keep competitors away from your most meaningful IP? Or will you adopt a defensive strategy, letting others use what you came up with but staying clear of your competitors’ IP to avoid infringing their rights? Either route has pros and cons.
For the “plant touching” businesses, you also need to be familiar with the changing and strict regulations surrounding packaging and labelling of cannabis products. Otherwise, you may end up spending money changing your packaging and labels. Do you have a thorough understanding of the rules surrounding:
If this was not enough, other considerations may apply if you intend to flow your cannabis products across provincial borders. While it is the federal legislation that permits the purchase and use of recreational cannabis across Canada, each province and territory may enact their own legislation to further restrict the possession, sale and use of recreational cannabis. So what may work in Ontario may not work in Quebec.
You will face a range of challenges growing your cannabis business. Let the professionals at Aventum™ help you with your IP strategy and help you navigate the maze of rules and regulations.
For more information, contact Chantal Bertosa.