It was only a matter of time before weed became a central motif in this season’s festival gear. The “flower” crowns popular at Coachella have come to take on a new meaning, in which flower refers to bud rather than well, actual flowers.
But before they could get too popular, Coachella issued a cease and desist order against Lowell Farms, the creators of the cannabis flower crowns. The administration behind southern California’s notorious music and art festival, which has become so big it expanded into a double-weekend event, say that Lowell has infringed on their intellectual property rights.
Lowell Farm’s “Coachella Blend” pre-rolled joints may have been popular among the festival goers, but not so much with the festival makers themselves. Using the name “Coachella” for the pre-rolls and using the #coachella hashtag was interpreted as a violation of intellectual property. Just a week before Coachella weekend one, AEG Presents LLC, the events company that puts on Coachella (“one of our most prized assets”), asked Lowell Farms to delete all their social media posts that had the hashtag, and to stop selling any products related to the Coachella brand name.
“You cannot use our brand…for your own commercial benefit,” AEG wrote to Lowell Farms, bolded and in all caps. “We contend that your actions constitute trademark infringement and unfair competition under federal and state laws.”
Lowell claims that they didn’t foresee Coachella reacting the way they did, let alone at all. Having made dozens of special blend packs, a representative from Lowell Farms said they never had any issues before. Moreover, Coachella is the name of a place — Coachella Valley — not just the festival. “We never thought we’d be in trouble for using it,” he tells Merry Jane. In fact, the company had experienced just the opposite, as the flower crowns exploded in popularity. “We’ve had an overwhelming response and have stopped taking more orders because we won’t be able to meet demand,” he says.
As Lowell claims to not want to enter into a legal battle with AEG, they say that, worst case scenario, they’ll change the name of the products to “#notchilla blend.” Aptly named, given the festival’s reaction.