Meet the fearless lawyer saving the
With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, many brands and manufacturers are turning towards CBD and attempting to trademark their CBD products.
With CBD aiming to become a $2.1 billion industry by 2020, it is seen to exceed and overtake many other ordinary businesses. That’s why Chelsie Spencer, an intellectual property attorney licensed in Texas and Florida who specializes in CBD compliance laws, is such a necessity.
A partner of the Texas-based law firm Ritter Spencer, Chelsie handles transactional and litigation work for clients ranging from startups to large corporations. She has become an expert in the medical marijuana and hemp industry. Chelsie manages everything from helping clients secure their trademark registrations to drafting copyright licensing agreements to ensure that no brand has a monopoly on CBD products. She’s a rare friendly face in the midst of a cutthroat CBD hurricane, the person you want on speed dial when things turn sour.
One of the issues Chelsie manages on a daily basis is enforcing and defending claims of copyright, patent or trademark infringement.
Trademark and patent infringement is just the tip of the CBD iceberg. Another is the issue of CBD’s rapidly shifting legality.
“The FDA doesn't care where the cannabinoid comes from. They maintain both CBD and THC derived from hemp or marijuana is illegal to put into edibles, which is why we’ve been seeing states like New York pulling edibles off the shelves the past few weeks,” says Chelsie.
On May 22, 2018, the DEA declared that CBD obtained from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC was legal and eligible for registration.
“I highly recommend that CBD businesses utilize an attorney familiar with CBD registrations and the CBD industry,” says Chelsie. “The market is becoming congested and CBD businesses need to act fast to protect their brand. It is of tantamount importance for CBD goods and service providers to apply for federal trademark registration for their brand names. This is a way for CBD businesses to reserve their trademark before they even begin producing the CBD good or service.”
Chelsie serves as co-chair of the Dallas Bar Association’s Community Involvement Committee in addition to several other committees and groups. A member of the Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of Texas, she’s an active lobbyist for cannabis reform who frequently writes and speaks about how these issues are affecting the hemp and cannabis industries across the United States.
“Even though I speak at events and bar associations all over the country on this issue I have never once taken a speaking fee since it is a subject I am so passionate about,” says Chelsie. “If offered, I donate it to an organization in the industry or decline it.”