Cannabis is associated with many things: Munchies, hippies, unjust incarceration of thousands and, of course, laughing at dumb stuff!
Stoners have demonstrated this compulsion to amuse themselves with a laugh from time immemorial, so it should comes as no surprise that even in the Wild West of Weed, stoned folk will push the boundaries of what a good case of the chuckles is exactly worth.
Turns out, one case of the chuckles has cost a Tulsa-area dispensary everything. Dank of Oklahoma’s stoner owners got their asses spanked in court, after they built their entire brand around a pun very obviously inspired by one of the most federally regulated institutions around: A bank.
Dank of Oklahoma, a medical marijuana dispensary in Tulsa, resolved a trademark suit by agreeing to drop its name, hexagonal logo and other marks likely to cause confusion with those used by the Bank of Oklahoma.
According to a federal judge’s consent judgment Tuesday, Dank of Oklahoma and Bank of Oklahoma “agreed to amicably” resolve the suit, which the bank filed in March.
Dank of Oklahoma had to know — no matter how stoned they were in that meeting where they picked their name and sealed their fate — that blatantly ripping off the trademarks of a high-profile Oklahoma business that literally keeps all the money could not possibly be a smart move, right?
DOK made a pun on BOK’s name, bad move. At least they did not copy everything about Bank of Oklahoma’s brand.
Bank of Oklahoma alleged that Dank of Oklahoma’s name, similar hexagonal logo – albeit with a marijuana leaf in the middle – and slogan “What’s in your dank account?” were “clearly intended to evoke the services offered” by the bank and to confuse consumers.
It has been said we live in a country of laws, so — sure — DOK had it coming. But did the dispensary’s brand really “confuse customers,” as BOK successfully argued? Did any potheads show up to BOK and ask a teller for an ounce of Northern Lights? Did a banking customer ever go to DOK and try to leave some money without taking any weed in return?
Common sense aside, according to the consent agreement reached between Bank and Dank of Oklahomas, DOK basically agreed to never ever ever again use anything remotely connected to its former name or that of its nemesis in name, Bank of Oklahoma.
This isn’t the first time an Oklahoma dispensary has dive-bombed the shallow intellectual property waters. In July 2019, another Tulsa dispensary was sued by a Canadian entertainment studio, because the dispensary logo looked suspiciously like the logo of one of their children’s TV shows. You know it had to be bad to piss off Canadians:
That showdown ended in January with the Tulsa dispensary losing its name and its ass to the Canadian firm to the tune of $74,000 in legal fees.
These dispensary goofs call my attention to something else synonymous with cannabis use: Creativity. Oklahoma dispensaries, let’s use some.