The breeders who created the super-sticky Gorilla Glue 4 strain have reached a settlement with the Gorilla Glue adhesive maker. The agreement comes months after GG Strains, the company behind the wildly popular, award-winning cannabis variety vowed to fight the trademark infringement case in court. However several months in and nearly a fifty-thousand dollars later they we’re happy to agree to a landmark deal.
“In the beginning they didn’t want to settle,” says interim CMO of GG Strains and online marketing guru Catherine Franklin aka Cat 7 told Stuff Stoners Like about the adhesive behemoth. “They were not nice at the start but over time we all warmed up. They were very upset that their name was being used as a term for cannabis and they wanted us to stop using it.”
To make matters worse the glue giant’s attorney accused the small 3-person company who created the GG4 strain of profiting from each sale of Gorilla Glue weed sold in every legal recreational and medicinal shop across the nation. And they wanted a piece of past profits.
However since the famous strain hit the market a few short years ago many people have profited from its sale not just its originators. Plus GG Strains had only given a small amount of growers a cut from the original mother plant and allowed them to sell marijuana under the Gorilla Glue 4 moniker. Most everything else that was sold was counterfeit.
Once the glue company’s attorney realized that GG Strains were not responsible for the vast majority of the Gorilla Glue 4 sales let alone profiting from them all—tides began to change. Coupled with the fact that for several months GG Strains were already trying to rename the renowned strain and an amicable agreement was nearing. Soon, during the jurisdictional discovery process, the glue guys suggested a settlement.
“We were rebranding her anyways,” says Ross Johnson the breeder and master grower of GG4 as well as co-founder of GG Strains who goes by the underground name Lone Watty. ”We had already started using GG4—a much simpler term.”
GG Strains reached the agreement with the Gorilla Glue company on September 9, 2017 in their hometown of Las Vegas. As a result the breeders will no longer use the term Gorilla Glue or Gorilla Glue 4—the original strain name. Instead it will be known as GG4 going forward.
“We want nothing to do with the term Gorilla Glue. At this point it’s all about anger, resentment and hostility. That’s not what this company is about,” says Cat. “We don’t have to worry about the past. We don’t have to clean up old hashtags or Instagram images—we only have to worry about the future.”
Also according to the agreement there will be a transition period for the next year affording GG Strains and their certified cultivators the ability to refer to the product as “GG4—formerly known as Gorilla Glue 4.” This will allow GG strains to extend legal protection from any upcoming lawsuits to their partners—the cultivators who grow the strain and the dispensaries that sell it—as well as themselves. Everybody else going forward who sells Gorilla Glue 4 could and most likely will be subject to a lawsuit brought on by the Gorilla Glue company.
“Other than being financially damaged I don’t think we’re better or worse off,” says Johnson about the outcome of the seven month long suit. “We just have that behind us now. We don’t have to sit here everyday and worry about when the Gorilla Glue company is going to come knocking. Because we always knew that they probably would. And the more popular we were getting the more they were getting offended and wanted their name back. ”
As a result of the settlement GG Strains will also have to shut down their gorillaglue4.com website and transfer that domain name to the Gorilla Glue Co. by Jan. 1, 2020. There will be new packaging and marketing guidelines associated with the product as well. GG Strains will send out amendments to their partnership agreements, logos and the like. Most importantly however—the company is asking growers to certify their strains.
A lot of people don’t understand why we trademark things says Cat. While the strain was winning awards it was also providing relief for many patients. But all of a sudden they were asking why it wasn’t working any longer, she explained.
“What we were finding out was that people were labeling it GG4 and it really wasn’t. The cultivator knew the most popular strain was GG4 so they just slapped that name on it to sell it. And the dispensary would do the same thing,” Cat said. “So that’s when we decided that we need to put a stop to this whole thing.”
The solution? Have growers certify their strain and work with the parent company—problem solved.
“Anybody that gets their strains certified with us will be under protection from a lawsuit because you know the Gorilla Glue adhesive company is not done, says Johnson. “But our ultimate goal is that everybody whether they’re a partner or not will get their marijuana tested so that way we know that medical and rec users are getting the real thing when they pay for it.”