This origin story is the stuff of legend in the cannabis world.
Back in 2012, A Nevada medical marijuana cultivator working under the under the uniquely spelled pseudonym “Joesy Whales” was trimming a new plant born from a happenstance encounter between established strains Chem’s Sister, Sour Dubb and Chocolate Diesel.
The phone rang.
When Whales, whose real name is Jackie Don Peabody, answered the call, the resin secreted by the flower caused his hands to stick to the phone like glue.
The hybrid marijuana strain was thus christened: Gorilla Glue #4.
But the branding inspired by what has been called an innocent story of inception has landed the fabled breeders of the highly decorated, extremely potent and wildly popular Gorilla Glue #4 in an even stickier legal situation.
The Gorilla Glue Company - maker of adhesive products such as Gorilla Glue, Gorilla Epoxy and Gorilla Tape - is suing GG Strains LLC, the company founded by Peabody and business partner Ross Johnson, alleging trademark infringement, dilution, unfair competition and cybersquatting. By licensing and marketing products under “confusingly similar” names, GG Strains is ultimately trading on the reputation and goodwill that the family-run, Sharonville, Ohio-based company built over 23 years of business, according to the March 24 complaint.
Although not the first litigation of its kind in the cannabis industry, the case represents another coming-of-age moment for the maturing legal industry: The fun-loving, guerrilla marketing of marijuana’s underground heyday is now being viewed in the same light as that of traditional industry.