21 January 2020TrademarksRory O'Neill

Chocolate brand registers first psilocybin mark

A chocolate brand has registered a trademark for 'psilocybin'—one of the psychoactive components in magic mushrooms.

Psilocybin, along with psilocin, is one of the two naturally occurring compounds that produce the mind-altering effects of magic mushrooms.

Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in the US. Although the cities of Denver and Oakland have effectively decriminalised use and possession of the fungi, they remain illegal substances.

But this month, the USPTO granted its first live trademark for a ‘psilocybin’ word mark. The mark was registered by a company called Black Pandas, which appears to be linked to the Psilocybin chocolate brand.

The company nominally markets itself as a chocolate brand, although the chocolates themselves don’t contain psilocybin.

Founder Scarlet Ravin says she doesn’t intend to sue anyone for using the mark, registered in class 41, covering educational materials about psychoactive plants, for trademark infringement.

Rather, she told cannabis advocacy and news site Marijuana Moment, she registered the mark in order to spark a discussion.

“The only way that we are going to have access to mainstream consumers is by having some sort of trademark on the word so that we can use it for something that’s not what it actually is,” she said.

“With this being something that we can now put into market with a box of chocolates that has no psilocybin in it, but as you can already see, it creates a platform for discussion of what the beauty of this plant can do,” Ravin added.

Ravin said she wants to avoid psilocybin being commercialised in the same way that cannabis has. But she is already facing criticism from activists who support the legalisation of the substance.

Kevin Matthews, who campaigned for the decriminalisation of magic mushrooms in Denver, told Marijuana Moment that Ravin “needs to let go of the trademark”.

Matthews said the campaign in support of magic mushroom legalisation was an “open-source movement” and not subject to any commercial monopoly.

Ravin’s mark is the only live mark for ‘psilocybin’ on the register.

Another mark for the same word was filed in 1999 but abandoned two years later.

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