China is cornering the cannabis patent market

More than half of the over 600 cannabis-related patents registered with the United Nations’ global intellectual property agency belong to Chinese companies, which have claimed rights to everything from traditional Chinese medicine-related marijuana tinctures to new methods of administering the drug, like a film that sticks to the skin.

The UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization collects patents from 186 member states that are globally enforceable and organizes them in a searchable database called Patentscope, which shows Chinese cannabis patents including a “Shangxia beverage for relaxing bowels” (and preparation method thereof), a preparation for “assisting in therapy of shivering and sweating” and broader applications like methods of extracting cannabinoids from plants.