It appears that Coachella, the popular music and art festival held in Indio, California, isn’t that chill after all. The folks behind the festival recently issued a cease and desist order against Lowell Farms, claiming that the cannabis company is infringing on their intellectual property rights.
Lowell Farms decided to tap into the festival spirit by creating and selling both cannabis crowns and special "Coachella Blend" pre-rolls surrounding the event. And while consumers and festivalgoers immediately were on board with the products, Coachella definitely wasn’t feeling it.
On March 31st, a cease and desist letter was sent to Lowell Farms, stating that creating and selling "Coachella Blend" packs of pre-rolls and that by using the #Coachella hashtag, the farm was infringing on their intellectual property rights. AEG Presents (the company that produces Coachella) demanded that Lowell Farms delete all social media posts that include the Coachella hashtag and to stop selling all Coachella-related merchandise, only a week before the first weekend of the festival was to take place.
While Lowell Farms had no official connection to the festival and decided to create these products on their own, they also had no idea that Coachella would try to harsh their buzz so harshly. Sean (who asked that his last name not be divulged), a partner in Lowell Farms exclusively told MERRY JANE that they did not anticipate this kind of reaction at all.
"We've done dozens of special blend packs and never had an issue before. We thought it was like a Denver omelet, Coachella blend, Coachella is a place, we never thought we'd be in trouble for using it."
Clearly, the festival organizers felt otherwise.
Lowell Farms has made a variety of special blends and products before, including ones for the Presidential election and various holiday blends, including a popular Valentine's day bouquet. And, according to Sean, their Coachella products were flying off the shelves. "We've had an overwhelming response and have stopped taking more orders because we won't be able to meet demand."
According to a press release, Lowell Farms has offered to be the first official cannabis sponsor of the festival and donate all profits of the limited run pack of pre-rolls to NORML. The cannabis company also said that it has no desire to enter into a prolonged legal battle with AEG Presents, and they are working on finding a creative solution to offer their products to festivalgoers.
With the festival only days away, and the cease and desist order still in place, it will be interesting to see what unfolds. Lowell Farms has a plan either way, and it still involves them selling their cannabis, even if they have to change the name. Sean says that if worse comes to worse, "...we'll rename them #notchilla blend."
MERRY JANE has reached out to Coachella for comment, but they have yet to respond.