The claims made by Big Tobacco against major cannabis companies and the celebrities behind them are often outrageous, if not laughable. In recent trademark lawsuits, a tobacco company claimed that pre-rolled cones, organic hemp papers, and more staples of the rolling paper industry amount to paraphernalia.
The latest claim is that pre-rolled cones, organic hemp papers and hemp gum are intended for use with pot—but not traditional rolling papers—which some tobacco companies sell.
“Big Tobacco is coming for legal marijuana,” The Boston Globe reported, referring to Marlboro owner Altria’s endeavors in pot. And while some Big Tobacco companies are attempting to buy their way into the industry, others have a different tactic: attacking competitors. Here’s a few trademark lawsuits targeting the industry that appear to have ulterior motives.
Big Tobacco’s Trademark War on Cannabis
High Times was informed of a smear attempt on cannabis consumers—and a hypocritical argument, at best. Republic Brands, a tobacco company owned by Don Levin, manufactures and sells OCB, Top, Job, and Zig Zag rolling papers. Republic sued RAW’s parent company, HBI International in an injunction announced on Feb. 9, and RAW founder Josh Kesselman recently took a lot of heat. (RAW is a more popular rolling paper brand.) High Times was eventually pulled into the vortex of this lawsuit as well as evidence that rolling papers are intended for pot.
RAW was under fire for alleging its papers were made in Alcoy, Spain, home of legendary Bambú papers, among other claims. In Republic’s filings, they sought to invalidate RAW’s trademark by arguing that Republic wanted to make cones and other materials used for the consumption of cannabis illegal. Republic’s attorneys argued in federal court that “…cones were developed in the 1990’s specifically to hold marijuana. They …
Author: Richard Saunders / High Times