Is it possible to register trademarks with the term “Cannabis” or “Marijuana”?

Is it possible to register trademarks with the term “Cannabis” or “Marijuana”?

In Argentina trademarks containing the terms or references to “cannabis”, “marijuana”, “CBD” or a “cannabis leaf image”, are registrable, especially for cannabis plant and its derivatives for medicinal goods – according to most recent modifications introduced by Law N° 27.350 and Regulation-, but in the last few years, the Trademark Office has also allowed registrations for recreational purposes. Intellectual Property and its protection are not alien to these changes but has accompanied and received them promptly and also the Trademark Office’s practices has been updated.

In 2017, Argentina legalized medicinal, therapeutic, and/or palliative of the pain medicine, obtained from the cannabis plant and its derivatives. A doctor’s prescription is needed, which enables patients to acquire medicinal specialties elaborated in the country, import medicinal specialties or acquire master formulas elaborated by authorized pharmacies.

Moreover, patients can be registered in the Register of Cannabis Program (REPROCANN) to obtain authorization for the growing of the plant, to a relative, a third party or an authorized civil organization. Before the sanction of the Law, there were many judicial injunctions in order to obtain authorization to import medicines with such components for persons under health treatments.

In relation with marijuana consumption for recreational purposes in Argentina, notwithstanding the fact that this type of consumption is not considered legal, it is still allowed to sell accessories, grow kits and pipes, among others. Moreover, even though selling marijuana is considered a crime, the National Supreme Court determined that it will not punish marijuana possession for personal use only (Case-law: “Basterrica” and “Arriola”).

The laws regulating this matter are the following:

– Law on Narcotics No. 23.737 Of September 21, 1989. Modified on November 8, 2016. This Law is inside the Criminal Code.

– Law on Medical and Scientific Research of the Medicinal Use of the Cannabis Plant and its Derivatives No. 27.350 of March 29, 2017.

– Presidential Decree No. 883/2020 Of November 12, 2020 (Regulation of Law No. 27.350, Annex 1)

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