Woodstock Festival Producers Slap Cannabis Company With Lawsuit

Peace and love, meet cease and desist


The producers of the Woodstock music festivals are looking to bogart their name when it comes to the medical marijuana business.

Woodstock Ventures has filed a suit against a cannabis company marketing its wares under the Woodstock banner.

The suit, filed in federal court in New York against Woodstock American Products, Woodstock Cannabis and others, states that the Woodstock festivals “are widely associated with marijuana use” and that Woodstock Ventures has begun exploiting its trademarks for the recreational marijuana business in the states where it’s legal, including the formation of the Woodstock Cannabis Company.

“The 1969 Woodstock Festival was renowned for its attendees’ use of recreational drugs, particularly marijuana. As a consequence, the Woodstock brand has become strongly associated with recreational marijuana,” the lawsuit reads. “According to several reports, witnesses, and news sources, almost everyone at the 1969 Woodstock Festival was consuming cannabis. The New York Times estimated that 99% of the attendees were smoking marijuana.”

Moreover, the suit states, recreational marijuana is a “natural zone of expansion” for Woodstock Ventures.

“Notwithstanding the foregoing, Defendants have engaged in a common scheme, agreement and effort to take advantage of the public’s association of Plaintiffs’ Woodstock brand with recreational marijuana by marketing their own line of Woodstock-branded marijuana-related products,” the suit reads. “Not only are Defendants using the identical trade name and mark ‘Woodstock’ to brand their cannabis-related products, but they are also intentionally marketing and promoting their cannabis-related products by highlighting their false association with Plaintiffs’ Woodstock-brand goods and services.”

For example, the suit says, a website used by the defendants advertised their product line with the phrase “Since 1969,” the year that the first Woodstock festival was held.

TheWrap has reached out to the defendants for comment on the lawsuit.

Asserting trademark infringement and other counts, Woodstock Ventures is seeking unspecified damages, along with an order preventing the competition from using the Woodstock name.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.