Emerging from shadows, pot industry tries to build brands
DENVER - Snoop Dogg has his own line of marijuana. So does Willie Nelson. Melissa Etheridge has a marijuana-infused wine.
As the fast-growing marijuana industry emerges from the black market and starts looking like a mainstream industry, there's a scramble to brand and trademark pot products.
Makeshift branding efforts, from celebrity names on boxes of weed to the many weed-themed T-shirts and stickers common in towns with a legal marijuana market, show the industry taking halting steps toward the mainstream.
But patents and trademarks are largely regulated by the federal government, which considers marijuana an illegal drug, ineligible for any sort of legal protection. The result is a Wild West environment of marijuana entrepreneurs trying to stake claims and establish cross-state markets using a patchwork of state laws.