Nolan IP Law: Industry Snapshot: Cannabis Plant Patents

Nolan IP Law: Industry Snapshot: Cannabis Plant Patents
Industry Snapshot: Cannabis Plant Patents

Originally Published at JD Supra

plant patent is granted to an inventor who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced a distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state.

For more information about plant patents, click here.

In this Industry Snapshot, we review the cannabis plant patents issued by the U.S. Patent Office between December 20, 2016 and June 29, 2021.

Contents

  • What is Cannabis?
  • Cannabis Patents
  • Takeaways
  • Endnotes

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is a genus of flowering plants within the family Cannabaceae—a family having about 11 genera. Cannabis and Humulus (hops) are the only genera within the family that contain economically significant species.

There are three species in the Cannabis genera: Cannabis sativa (C. sativa)Cannabis indica (C. indica), and Cannabis ruderalis (C. ruderalis), although there is some debate whether C. ruderalis is a distinct species from or a subspecies of C. sativa. Classification of a plant into a species is based on the plant phenotypes and secondary metabolite profiles. [i]

At least 545 distinct compounds have been isolated from cannabis plants. Those compounds encompass 20 different classes of chemical compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, terpenoids, amino acids, nitrogenous compounds, simple alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, esters, lactones, acids, fatty acids, steroids, non-cannabinoid phenols, pigments, flavonoids, vitamins, proteins, enzymes, glycoproteins, and hydrocarbons. [ii] A variety of the compounds in found in cannabis are biologically active chemicals, called phytochemicals, which are concentrated in a resin found in the glandular trichomes of the plant. Phytochemicals can affect the human body in various ways and, in some cases, treat diseases. The key classes of phytochemicals in a cannabis plant are cannabinoids and terpenes[iii]

At least 113 different cannabinoids have been isolated from cannabis. [iv] Some of the most studied cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol), and CBN (cannabinol). Some others include CBG (cannabigerol), THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid), CBGA (cannabigerolic acid), CBC (cannabichromene), CBDA (cannabidiolic acid), and THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin). Most cannabinoids exist in two forms: as acids and as neutral (decarboxylated) compounds. [v] More specifically, several cannabinoids exist in the acidic form while the plant is alive and growing, and in neutral form after the plant has been dried for human consumption. For example, the primary psychoactive and medicinal component in cannabis, THC, is formed by the decarboxylation of THCA during the drying step after harvest. [vi] Some cannabinoids are formed from the metabolism of other (non-acidic) compounds. For example, CBC and CBD—two of the most important non-psychoactive medicinal compounds in cannabis—result from the metabolism of CBG.

Over 100 different terpenes have been identified from cannabis plants. [vii] The more common terpenes found in cannabis include terpinolenelinaloolβ-myrcenecitronellolα-pinenelimoneneα-humuleneβ-caryophylleneβ-pineneborneolcamphenesabineneocimeneα-terpineneγ-3-careneL-fenchonep-cymeneα-phellandreneα-terpineol, and fenchol. Most high potency cannabis strains contain high quantities of β-myrcene, β-caryophyllene, and linalool, along with an assortment of other terpenes. [viii]

Cannabis Patents

As of the date of this article, there have been 26 cannabis plant patents issued by the U.S. Patent Office. The first patent was granted near the end of 2016. Then, after no issued cannabis patents for a couple of years, 3 were issued in 2019; 9 were issued in 2020; and 13 have been issued so far in 2021. In addition to the THC-containing varieties, several patents are directed to hemp plants. A brief summary of each patent is provided below.

2016

1) PP27,475 (20 Dec. 2016) | Ecuadorian Sativa

Ecuadorian Sativa is a hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) that was discovered in an area where the inventor was intentionally cross-pollinating and cultivating plants described as “Celestial Temple Sativa” and “Island Sweet Skunk.” The inventor found a female plant that could only be reproduced asexually by taking cuttings and that plant was the origin of this new strain. The patent states the new strain has energizing and motivating psychoactive effects.
P1

2019

2) PP30,434 (23 April 2019) | LW-BB1

LW-BB1 is a cultivar of C. indica, a clone selected from an open-cross of the indica varieties “DJ Short’s Blueberry” and “Black Berry Kush.”
Compared to its parents, LW-BB1 contains a higher terpene content and slightly lower cannabinoid levels. And, while both parents have detectable level of CBD, no CBD was detected in LW-BB1.
P2

3) PP30,639 (2 July 2019) | CW2A

CW2A is a hemp cultivar of C. sativa, resulting from a controlled-cross between a proprietary cultivar “1AC” as the female plant and a male plant originating from a feral hemp population in Colorado. Compared to both of its parent, CW2A is taller in plant height but narrower in width. Generally, CW2A is about twice as tall as it is wide.
P3
P4

4) PP30,668 (9 July 2019) | DD-CT-BR5

DD-CT-BR5 is a cultivar of C. sativa, resulting from a female parent designated “Sour Bubble” and a male parent designated “DDL19(2).” The new strain is characterized by its trichrome density and a maximum THC content of 22.3%, whereas its male and female parents possess a maximum THC content of 1.3% and 14.4%, respectively.
The cannabinoid and terpene components found in DD-CT-BR5 are provided in Tables 1 and 2.
P5
P6

2020

5) PP31,535 (10 March 2020) | Lemon Crush OG

Lemon Crush OG is a hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) that was derived from a controlled-cross between a proprietary female cultivar referred to as B3 and a proprietary male cultivar known as S9.
Lemon Crush OG is larger in both height and width compared to its parents, and more robust in growing performance, time to rooted clones, greater resistance to pest and disease, stronger branches, and higher yielding. The cultivar is stable and reproduces true to type in successive generations of asexual reproduction.
P7

6) PP31,707 (28 Apr. 2020) | Grape Lolipop

Grape Lolipop is a hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) that was derived from a controlled-cross between two proprietary cultivars. The female parent was known as G2 and the male parent was known as C5P1.
Grape Lolipop is larger in both height and width compared to its parents, and more robust in growing performance, time to rooted clones, greater resistance to pest and disease, stronger branches, thicker stems, greater flexibility, and higher yielding.
Chemically, Grape Lolipop has a higher THC:CBD ratio and a higher terpene content than either parent.
P8

7) PP31,724 (5 May 2020) | Primo Cherry

Primo Cherry is a hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) that was derived from a controlled-cross between two proprietary cultivars. The female parent was known as WP01.P08.10 and the male parent was known as B4.Y3P26.36. The main terpenes in Primo Cherry are myrcene, a-pinene, hexyl butyrate, b-pinene, limonene, and linalool. The estimated maximum concentration of THC and CBD is about 12.38-15.24% and about 5.40-7.13%, respectively.
P9
P11

8) PP31,752 (12 May 2020) | Cake Batter Cookies

Cake Batter Cookies is a fertile hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) that was developed in a breeding program focused on cultivating cannabis strains having a unique blend of cannabinoids and/or terpenes. The objective of the program was to identify a cannabis cultivar having: (i) medicinal effects such as improved appetite and reduced nausea, vomiting, or chronic pain; (ii) psychoactive effects such as increased motivation and energetic behavior; and (iii) recreational effects such as enhanced enjoyment of foods and aromas.
P12

Cake Batter Cookies was derived from two proprietary cultivars: a female parent known as K1 and a male parent known as 1681.20. Cake Batter Cookies has a higher cannabinoid content, a higher terpene content, and a higher THC:CBD ratio than either parent. Cake Batter Cookies has a floral lavender smell.

9) PP31,874 (16 Jun. 2020) | Holy Crunch

Holy Crunch is a hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) that was derived from a controlled-cross between two proprietary cultivars. The female parent was known as R08 and the male parent was known as P08P0104.
Holy Crunch is larger in height and width than either parent, and more robust in growing performance, time to rooted clones, time to flower maturity, and resistance to pests and diseases. Holy Crunch has a smell of fuel, diesel-spice, and earth, and a THC content of in the range of about 6.56-16.74%.
P13

10) PP31,917 (30 Jun. 2020) | Raspberry Punch

Raspberry Punch is a hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) that was derived from a controlled-cross between two proprietary cultivars. The female parent was known as 18 and the male parent was known as C11.

Raspberry Punch has a smell of earth tones and hints of floral sweetness. The THC content for Raspberry Punch falls within the range of about 4.94-8.64%.

P14

11) PP31,918 (30 Jun. 2020) | Rainbow Gummeez

Rainbow Gummeez is a hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) that was derived from a controlled-cross between two proprietary cultivars. The female parent was known as B4 and the male parent was known as P26.
Rainbow Gummeez has a sweet and fruity scent, but the smell is sharp like a cleaning product. The THC content is between 4.37-7.87%.
P15

12) PP32,318 (13 Oct. 2020) | MR2017002

MR2017002 is a new C. sativa variety developed in Canada having about 13% THC and 0.1% CBD by dry weight. MR2017002 demonstrated significant resistance to microbial growth, and a low number of intra-flower leaves on average for cannabis. MR2017002 originated from a controlled cross between the female C. sativa variety “California Orange” and the male C. sativa variety “Skunk #1.” The variety “Girl Scout Cookies” is identified as the closest variety to MR2017002, which is distinguishable by its increased resistance to microbial growth. The data for the comparative study is in Table 2.
P16
P17
P18

13) PP32,473 (17 Nov. 2020 | Bihemp 050924

Bihemp 050924 is a hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) that was derived from a controlled-cross between two proprietary cultivars. The female parent was known as 05 and the male parent was known as 09.
Bihemp 050924 has a pungent yet sweet scent. The THC content is between 0.21-0.43% and the CBD content is between 5.02-10.86%.
Bihemp 050924 has a pungent yet sweet scent. The THC content is between 0.21-0.43% and the CBD content is between 5.02-10.86%.
P19

2021

14) PP32,725 (5 Jan. 2021) | PAN2020

PAN2020 was developed in Spain—the result of multiple generational crosses between KC Virtus and Zenit. It was discovered that an individual plant from the KC Virtus somaclonal variation screen contained an unusual cannabinoid profile. Specifically, the plant contained CBG as the predominant cannabinoid and no THC. The KC Virtus plant was crossed with a female plant from a F2 cross of Zenit x Zenit. As shown in Table 3, the new cultivar PAN2020 exhibits a high concentration of CBG and no THC or CBD, whereas its parents exhibited low to medium concentrations of CBG, low to no THC, and low to high amounts of CBD.
P21
P20

15) PP33,000 (27 Apr. 2021) | OG Citron

OG Citron is a hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) that was derived from a controlled-cross between two proprietary cultivars. The female parent was known as S8 and the male parent was known as 08.
OG Citron has an ambrosial smell and contains between about 9.90-12.66% THC and between about 5.50-9.23%.
OG Citron has an ambrosial smell and contains between about 9.90-12.66% THC and between about 5.50-9.23%.
P22

16) PP33,001 (27 Apr. 2021) | MR2018001

MR2018001 is a new C. sativa variety developed in Canada having about 9% THC and 9% CBD by dry weight. MR2018001 originated from a controlled cross between the female C. sativa variety “Afghani Hawaiian” and the male C. sativa variety “Jamaican Landrace.” The variety “Girl Scout Cookies” is identified as the closest variety to MR2018001, which is distinguishable by its increased resistance to microbial growth. The data for the comparative study is shown in Table 2 below.
P24
P23

17) PP33,002 (27 Apr. 2021) | MR2018003

MR2018003 is a new C. sativa variety developed in Canada having about 16.77% THC and 0% CBD by dry weight. MR2018003 originated from a controlled cross between the female C. sativa variety “Pakistan Chitral Kush Landrace” and the male C. sativa variety “UK Cheese.” The variety “Girl Scout Cookies” is identified as the closest variety to MR2018003, which is distinguishable by its increased resistance to microbial growth.

P25

18) PP33,073 (18 May 2021) | MR2018002

MR2018002 is a new C. sativa variety developed in Canada having about 6% THC and 13% CBD by dry weight. MR2018002 originated from a controlled cross between a female C. sativa variety of unknown background and a male C. sativa variety of unknown background. The variety “Girl Scout Cookies” is identified as close to MR2018002, which is distinguishable from the former by its increased resistance to microbial growth.

P26 P27

19) PP33,143 (8 Jun. 2021) | Anew

Anew is a cultivar binomially known as Cannabis ruderalis Humulus lupulus. The strain was discovered as a graft chimera in a cultivated area of Michigan, and it produces CBD in high yield with no or only trace amounts of THC. The Anew species (shown on the right) is typically about 1-2.5 feet tall and has thick, sturdy stems, and fleshy, oblong or elliptic leaves. An image of the Humulus lupus leaves and flowers (used in brewing) is shown below.
P10 P28

20) PP33,162 (15 Jun. 2021) | Eighty Eight

Eighty Eight is a hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) that was derived a female hybrid developed from a clone called “Oracle” crossed with a male plant called “American Feral,” and a father developed from a hemp seed named “Otto II.” Oracle is a stable resin producing female with a CBD to THC ratio of 20:1. Eighty Eight—the result of working with more than 4,000 individual variations of the hybrid—has a stabilized and median CBD to THC ratio of 31:1, which consistently meets the requirement for hemp (i.e., 0.3% or less THC).

P29 P30

21) PP33,182 (22 Jun. 2021) | Painted Lady

Painted Lady is a hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) that was bred for indoor and outdoor production of a plant resin containing high quantities of CBD and low quantities of THC. Painted Lady—the result of working with more than 12,000 individual variations of the hybrid—has a stabilized and median CBD to THC ratio of 31:1, which consistently falls below the hemp threshold of 0.3% THC. Painted Lady’s parents were developed from a clone named “Oracle” crossed with a clone named “Otto II.”
P31

immature flower

P32

mature flower

22) PP33,183 (22 Jun. 2021) | C2B

C2B is a hybrid variety (C. sativaC. indica) developed in a selective breeding program by performing controlled fertilization of known, high-performing hemp varieties. The patent states that C2B is a type-III hemp cultivar, which means that it does not possess the allele to ever make more than 0.5% THC.
C2B also has a unique composition of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. For example, the patent states that most cannabis varieties have no detectable level of CBC. The new cultivar C2B, however, has a 25:9:1 ratio of CBD:CBC:THC—a ratio that has not been identified for other strains.
P33

23) PP33,210 (29 Jun. 2021) | V3

V3 is a new annual C. sativa variety from California that resulted from C. sativa varieties from Durban, South Africa and Malawi, Morocco, with the intention of cultivating a strain with THC and THCV. The female parent F12, having a THC content of 0.55% and a THCV content of 1.27%, was cross bred with male parent M31, having a THC content of 6.14% and THCV content of 1.24%. The parents were selected because they were the highest THCV producing plants in the study. The V3 cultivar differs from the parental varieties by having an increased production of THCV.
P34

24) PP33,211 (29 Jun. 2021) | V2

V2 is a C. sativa variety that resulted from the same parental varieties as V3.

V2 differs from V3 in that V3 has coarsely serrated leaflets that are longer than V2. Further, the V2 variety is higher in THCV than THC, whereas V3 is higher in THC than THCV. And V2 has a later flowering cycle and a later development/showing of sex than V3.

The V2 variety differs from V1 primarily based on color characteristics.

P35

25) PP33,212 (29 Jun. 2021) | V1

V1 is a C. sativa variety that resulted from the same parental varieties as V2 and V3. The V1 variety differs from V3 in that V3 has coarsely serrated leaflets that are longer than V1. V1 has a higher content of THCV than THC, while V3 is higher in THC than THCV. Further, V1 has a later flowering cycle and a later development/showing of sex than V3. The V1 variety differs from V2 primarily with respect to their color characteristics of various structures of the two plants.
P36 P37

26) PP33,213 (29 Jun. 2021) | Honey H-2018

Honey H-2018 is a new C. sativa cultivar that resulted from a breeding program involving the cross between “Retro Boogie” (C. indica) and “Long Bottom Leaf” (C. sativa).
The new variety has beneficial characteristics including high potency, sweet aroma, greater tolerance for fungal diseases, and high vigor. The Honey H-2018 cultivar has a very high THC content of 25-28%.
P38

Takeaways

A couple of things are apparent after reviewing these 26 cannabis plant patents.

First, a thorough description of the plant is required. The description typically includes relevant information about the breeding program that resulted in the new cultivar; a classification of the new cultivar; an identification of the plant’s parents and their respective classifications; and information about the plant’s origin, propagation, and growth characteristics. The description further includes information about the new cultivar’s foliage, stem, flowers, and inflorescence.

Second, the description usually identifies any unique features possessed or exhibited by the new cultivar. For example, several patents outline the chemical composition of the resin found in the glandular trichomes of the new cultivar, including the specific cannabinoids and/or terpenes found in a high concentration relative to one or more known cultivars or with the cannabis genera generally. Often, a comparison of physical attributes is also provided. For example, the height and width of the new cultivar can be compared to the parent plants or to a known species are provided. Additional properties, such as the aromas and colors of the cultivar, are also included.

 

Endnotes

[i] U.S. PP30,639, at 1:6–11 (column:line).

[ii] U.S. PP31,535, at 4:52–66.

[iii] U.S. PP27,474, at 3:39–55.

[iv] U.S. PP31,535, at 5:38–6:25.

[v] U.S. PP30,434, at 8:59–9:20.; U.S. PP31,707, at 6:11–29.

[vi] U.S. PP27,475, at 3:40–66; U.S. PP30,434, at 9:2–20.

[vii] U.S. PP31,535, at 5:12–37.

[viii] U.S. PP27,475, at 4:7-10.

Source: https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/industry-snapshot-cannabis-plant-patents-6905817/

New

Cannabis Law Journal – Editorial Board Members

Editor – Sean Hocking

Author Bios

Canada
Matt Maurer – Minden Gross
Jeff Hergot – Wildboer Dellelce LLP

Costa Rica
Tim Morales – The Cannabis Industry Association Costa Rica

Nicaragua
Elvin Rodríguez Fabilena

USA

General
Julie Godard
Carl L Rowley -Thompson Coburn LLP

Arizona
Jerry Chesler – Chesler Consulting

California
Ian Stewart – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Otis Felder – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Lance Rogers – Greenspoon Marder – San Diego
Jessica McElfresh -McElfresh Law – San Diego
Tracy Gallegos – Partner – Fox Rothschild

Colorado
Adam Detsky – Knight Nicastro
Dave Rodman – Dave Rodman Law Group
Peter Fendel – CMR Real Estate Network
Nate Reed – CMR Real Estate Network

Florida
Matthew Ginder – Greenspoon Marder
David C. Kotler – Cohen Kotler

Illinois
William Bogot – Fox Rothschild

Massachusetts
Valerio Romano, Attorney – VGR Law Firm, PC

Nevada
Neal Gidvani – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder
Phillip Silvestri – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder

Tracy Gallegos – Associate Fox Rothschild

New Jersey

Matthew G. Miller – MG Miller Intellectual Property Law LLC
Daniel T. McKillop – Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC

New York
Gregory J. Ryan, Esq. Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Tim Nolen Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Oregon
Paul Loney & Kristie Cromwell – Loney Law Group
William Stewart – Half Baked Labs

Pennsylvania
Andrew B. Sacks – Managing Partner Sacks Weston Diamond
William Roark – Principal Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin
Joshua Horn – Partner Fox Rothschild

Washington DC
Teddy Eynon – Partner Fox Rothschild