Strain Naming Issues in Today’s Cannabis Market

Strain Naming Issues

Gas Breath will now be known as STUCK IN MENDO

Congratulations to @thehillsidewrangler for winning the Strain Renaming Contest


Cannabis Community,

We all need to have a discussion.

Twenty20 prides itself on several principles and ethics that we adhere to. We always avoid drama, We don’t trash talk, poke fun, or even mention anyone in the cannabis community in a negative light. We are comprised of 5 team members, each of whom bring a different perspective and skill set to the table. We have been operating continuously under the Twenty20 umbrella since 2001 but have only recently become involved with the internet. We aren’t familiar with or interested in forum history, bad blood, fiefdoms, or mud slinging on social media. To date, we have had nothing but positive interactions with the cannabis community (minus a few outliers and trolls that we kindly brush off)

We want to raise a topic of discussion concerning strain names and lineages. Recently, it has come to our attention that two of our strains bear similar names as two strains from a breeder in Maine. This is purely coincidental and the said breeder politely brought it to our attention. We understand his concerns and we are willing to address them now. Unfortunately, to date there is no reliable database of strain names We google strain names, check leafly, and before we officially name a strain, but even with due diligence, this issue is sure to arise again. This is a common talking point among breeders, just the other day @riotseedco mentioned this issue in his live stream.

Let’s put breeders in the shoes of artists. It isn’t hard to believe that this very issue has been a contentious battle in both the music industry and the film industry for decades. Both industries have had to learn to live with the fact that there will be repeat titles. There are over 6 songs with the title “Sunday Morning” spanning the course of decades and multiple genres. What differentiates these songs is the Artist, not the title. The copyright office eventually had to step in and make the law clear. Here is an excerpt from the law

“Names, titles, and short phrases or expressions are not subject to copyright protection. Even if a name, title, or short phrase is novel or distinctive or if it lends itself to a play on words, it cannot be protected by copyright. The Copyright Office cannot register claims to exclusive rights in brief combinations of words such as:…”

To Summarize, if a song is comprised of English words or phrases, even if the phrase is “Novel”, that title cannot be copyrighted. One of our flagship strains is called “Glue Sniffer”. This of course is a phrase using two words. It is novel, it is funny, it is unique, however it is not sufficient for a copyright. Lets say, for example you make up a strain name such a “gasalicious”. That name WOULD be “novel” and would likely qualify for a copyright (assuming it hasn’t been used). When federal law eventually allows cannabis products to apply for copyright and trademarks, they will certainly fit under the same statutes as the law noted above.

We propose that breeders come to the table and agree that we should follow a similar protocol as the US patent office. A breeder can always use their name or logo as a surname or forename to distinguish their strain, much like a musician does. ie “Glue Sniffer by Twenty20

In Summary, we don’t want to be that bad guys, step on anyone’s toes, or be cast in a negative light. We strive for nothing more than to put out quality product and help promote cannabis and bring her from the shadows of prohibition. In order to keep the peace, we have decided to change the name of one of our recent releases “Gas Breath” The breeder who addressed concerns to us @mainestraingenetics207 has been using that name for a number of years and we don’t blame them for being concerned. We want to stress that they were very respectful to us and did not approach us in a negative manner. Please take a look at their IG page and give them a follow. From the looks of it they are top notch breeders with some quality product.