Casino operator MGM Resorts has narced on a prospective Nevada medical marijuana dispensary for allegedly infringing on MGM’s trademarks. MGM has filed a buzz-killing federal lawsuit against M’Life Wellness Inc., which has an application pending to dispense medical weed in Las Vegas. MGM claims the would-be pot purveyor’s name sounds too much like MGM’s ‘M life’ rewards program that allows customers to collect points while gambling and partaking of non-gaming amenities at MGM properties across America.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that MGM filed the suit in US District Court in Las Vegas on Sept. 16 after M’Life partner Dan Lutz “did not agree” to comply with MGM’s cease-and-desist letter. (Perhaps he was just too high to understand it?) MGM appears to have the upper hand in this fight, given that it holds six M life related federal patents. M’Life holds two state-issued trademarks but federal law lags the states in terms of legalizing the herb, meaning M’Life is ineligible for federal recognition.
MGM’s problem is compounded by the fact that Nevada gaming regulators have ordered their licensees to avoid any connections to medical ganja until federal laws are revised. In June, casino execs were even warned that they dare not knowingly accept large wagers from anyone connected with the medical marijuana industry.
MGM is also accusing M’Life of cybersquatting via its registration of the mlifewellness.com domain. MGM’s filing notes that it has spent “tens of millions of dollars” promoting the M life brand and M’Life’s use of the mark on customer cards has “created an association in the mind of the consuming product.”
Then again, the short-term memory of M’Life’s potential clientele has likely been so impaired that they probably don’t make the association MGM fears. More likely, they look at the MGM logo, see the lion’s head and suddenly remember they were planning to test out that ‘Dark Side of the Rainbow’ theory about synching The Wizard of Oz DVD with their CD of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon.
BOOZE ON THE BOARDWALK?
To avoid being completely labeled a killjoy, MGM could use its newly reinstated status in Atlantic City to get behind a New Jersey politician’s proposal to boost AC’s fading appeal through the miracle of alcohol. On Wednesday, State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. suggested AC revise its laws to allow open alcohol containers on the seaside gaming hub’s famed boardwalk.
In a letter to Gov. Chris Christie’s point man on AC’s rejuvenation program, Kean argued that loosening the restrictions on boozing while walking would allow visitors “to easily go back and forth from the casinos, to the restaurants, to the beach.” All locations where they’re already vomiting with impunity, so why not let them replenish their empty stomachs on the spot?