‘The Haymaker’ is Leafly Deputy Editor Bruce Barcott’s opinion column on cannabis politics and tradition.

Most folks within the cannabis trade know Oklahoma goes by a Wild West section proper now. The state’s free medical marijuana rules have sparked a chaotic dispensary growth. As of final week, there have been greater than 1,600 dispensaries serving 161,000 registered MMJ sufferers.

One dispensary sued for trademark infringement, one other shut down for promoting meth. Not an excellent look, OK.

We’ve seen different states undergo this section. Colorado, Washington, and California went by comparable phases of their early dispensary years. Issues received somewhat free, and ultimately state legislators created a regulatory system that provided sufferers a modicum of high quality assurance.

The factor a couple of Wild West interval is that… nicely, it could actually get wild. And this week issues went somewhat excessive in Oklahoma.

Treehouse, TreeHouse, Home of Tree

On Monday, information broke {that a} dispensary in Tulsa referred to as the Treehouse was being sued for trademark infringement by Nelvana Enterprises, a Canadian firm that produces a kids’s TV present of the identical title.

Now, it’s one factor to decide on a reputation just like the Treehouse on your dispensary. It’s frequent sufficient that an lawyer may argue innocence in courtroom. Such as you selected the Greenhouse or one thing. Actually, “treehouse” is so frequent that there’s a TreeHouse cannabis retailer in Soquel, California; a TreeHouse Collective in Portland, Oregon; and a TreeHouse Membership retailer in Spokane, Washington, that truly has a treehouse subsequent to the parking zone.

Treehouse is so fashionable a reputation, actually, that the one in Tulsa isn’t even the one one in Tulsa. Sure, there’s Mary Jane’s Treehouse Dispensary, which is about 5 miles north of the opposite Treehouse. All of those different treehouses, to their credit score, have managed to design logos that don’t entail authorized danger of trademark infringement.

Nonetheless and all: The Treehouse TV present is produced in Toronto, whereas the dispensary is in Tulsa, whose residents are usually not precisely staying up late watching Hockey Evening in Canada on the CBC. There’s room for an trustworthy mistake.

TV Present? What TV Present?

However then you definitely examine the emblem of the TV present to the emblem of the dispensary.

Right here’s the TV present:

Not the emblem of a regulated grownup medical product. (Nelvana Enterprises)

And right here is the Oklahoma dispensary:

C’mon, it’s a typical font. (Treehouse Dispensary/Fb)

If the bass line from “Ice, Ice, Child” may discuss, the bass line from “Ice, Ice, Child” would specific its umbrage and outrage over the brazen nature of the theft right here.

It’s value noting that Nelvana Productions is just not some obscure little Moosejaw outfit. It’s a worldwide powerhouse of kids’s programming, having produced such classics as Timothy Goes to College, The Pretty OddParents, and The Magic Schoolbus. These are the individuals who invented Miss Frizzle, for god’s sake. You can not simply screenshot the present’s opening sequence, Photoshop the emblem, and begin promoting weed.

However that’s apparently what dispensary proprietor did. And that degree of high quality assurance appeared to run by the shop’s cultural DNA. A number of weeks in the past, patrons had been calling out its product in tweets like this:

I’m no cannabis connoisseur, however I do know unhealthy cannabis after I see it. And that’s unhealthy cannabis. I wince at the same time as I honor it with the phrase “cannabis.” That’s simply nasty weed.

Some Oklahomans apparently agreed.

Who’s Minding the Retailer?

It doesn’t take a copyright lawyer to acknowledge that the Treehouse doesn’t have a lot of a protection right here. The one thriller is how the proprietor will rebrand the store: Follow Treehouse below a brand new emblem, or change the title altogether however hold promoting the identical skeevy brickweed?

There’s a bigger query in all of this, although. How did this Treehouse get licensed? Did no one on the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority assume to test the dispensary’s design scheme? Or possibly they did, and the enjoyable cartoonish letters had been A-OK by them.

Nonsense Like This Turns Votes

The authorized cannabis trade continues to be just a few years outdated, and corporations are battling over-regulation in some states and under-regulation in others.

The over-regulation danger, as we’re seeing in California, is that the price of compliance drives up the value of cannabis and permits the illicit market to thrive. Over-regulation additionally locks legacy growers and sellers out of the authorized system.

However under-regulation has its value, too. The Treehouse received away with an (allegedly) stolen, kid-friendly emblem, whereas its opponents needed to pay design professionals to invent one thing new and adult-appropriate.

Even worse, prohibitionists could insert the Treehouse emblem into their slide deck once they argue that cannabis firms are attempting to show children into prospects. These slides flip votes. We noticed it simply final Tuesday, when one old-school drug warrior sat earlier than a Senate listening to and threw scare tales on the chair of the Senate banking committee. That senator has the ability to maneuver a invoice that will assist the 211,000 employees within the authorized cannabis trade get checking accounts, loans, and mortgages. Little stuff like “Treehouse” can have main unintended penalties.

Don’t Be This Man

Oh, additionally in Oklahoma final week: The proprietor of the Left Handed Okies medical marijuana dispensary in Spiro, Oklahoma, was busted for promoting meth out of the shop.

Don’t do this. It hurts us all. Particularly the man in Shady Level, Oklahoma, who owns a very completely different dispensary that can also be referred to as, sure, Left Handed Okies.