BUSINESS
08/04/2019 12:16 EDT | Updated 08/04/2019 12:19 EDT

These Cannabis Brands' Names Look Suspiciously Familiar...

Pot dispensaries like to play around with familiar brands. See if any of these look familiar to you.

With the marijuana business hitting new ― ahem ― highs on a daily basis, one of the biggest headaches in the business is simply finding a name for your cannabis company that someone hasn’t already used. And one that isn’t totally lame.

Not to mention like with any new business with no brand recognition, you need to make yourself stand out. With that kind of pressure, it’s inevitable some efforts will go wrong.

Oklahoma’s Treehouse Dispensary was recently in the news after Canadian media company Nelvana took legal action against it, for using an almost perfect facsimile of the Treehouse TV logo.

Besides being a cringeworthy and blatant ripoff, using the logo of a TV channel for small children to sell weed raises questions about your target clientele.

But Treehouse Dispensary isn’t the only one; there’s a been a small tidal wave of legal action against cannabis businesses that have been accused of ripping off known brands or logos. 

Maybe that’s simply due to the fact that the cannabis business is descended from the cannabis black market, where copyright violations were the least of one’s legal concerns. 

But whatever the reason, this is one industry where the brands often look ― shall we say ― suspiciously familiar. Check it out.

Weed the North

Trying to appeal to Raptors fans, we imagine.

Mary Crandall/Flickr via Creative Commons

Starbuds

A number of places in the U.S. and Canada have popped up with this name, and they don’t all appear to be related. They’ll have to work that out amongst themselves eventually, and maybe with Starbucks as well.

Reefer’s peanut butter cups and Mr. Dankbar

Pot parodies of candy bar names are all over the place ― they are in essence a kind of shorthand to let customers know what kind of cannabis edible they are getting. For instance, Reefer’s peanut butter cup’s name lets you know this is chocolate and peanut butter, with cannabis. But Hershey didn’t find this amusing. Back in 2014, the Seattle-based maker of these candy bar brands settled out of court with Hershey.

They are not the only ones, though. Here’s a similar product from Canada’s Exotica Farms. (And don’t forget that, until later this year, edibles are still illegal for recreational use under Canadian law.)

Exotica Farms

Grateful meds

It was inevitable that the name of Jerry Garcia’s perennially road- and mushroom-tripping band would eventually be a cannabis brand. And it’s only right.

Planet Hollyweed

People in L.A. have probably been making the “Hollyweed” joke since the 60s, so parodying the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain owned by a bunch of (former) A-list celebrities seems like a natural next step.

Duber

This not-exactly-legal “Uber for weed” launched in Toronto in 2018.

Duber/screencap