Patenting Cannabis: A Look At The Numbers

By Joshua Glucoft (January 10, 2019, 2:26 PM EST) -- The cannabis industry has been increasingly busy over the last few years seeking patent protection for new technologies. In the decade up through October 2008, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued approximately 1,200 cannabis-related patents.[1] In the decade since, the USPTO issued just under 1,800 cannabis-related patents,[2] representing a nearly 50 percent increase over the previous decade. Although nearly 3,000 active patents[3] in the industry may sound like a lot, evidence suggests that there is probably still quite a bit of room for innovating and patenting. One useful benchmark is the somewhat comparable tobacco industry. The USPTO issued just over 3,000 tobacco-related patents in the decade through October 2008 alone, with an additional 4,700 patents issued in the decade since.[4] The following chart depicts the relative patenting activity in the two industries....

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