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Inside the Lawsuit Over Jimi Hendrix Wine, Weed

If you’re trying to complete your collection of Jimi’s Wines, you might want to stock up on those bottles of Hey Joe Merlot soon.

by Jelisa Castrodale
21 March 2017, 9:00am

Jimi Hendrix died almost 47 years ago, but the legendary guitarist's memory is being kept alive by a nationally touring tribute concert, countless explorations of his back catalog, and lawsuits—the latest of which is over Jimi Hendrix wine and weed.

The seemingly endless string of lawsuits are all between the two warring factions of the Hendrix family. On one side (the side that keeps winning) is Janie Hendrix, Jimi's adopted sister, who controls his estate and all of its associated copyrights and trademarks. On the other is Leon Hendrix, Jimi's brother who was famously cut out of their father's will in favor of Janie.

Janie Hendrix manages two Hendrix-related properties, Experience Hendrix LLC and Authentic Hendrix LLC, who are responsible for that Fender-sponsored Experience Hendrix concert tour, along with officially licensed Jimi T-shirts, music re-issues and, um, an "Are You Experienced?" diaper cover. Leon runs Purple Haze Properties, LLC, which is the reason you can buy a Jimi Hendrix 3-in-1 weed vaporizer, edibles, or a bottle of Foxy Lady pinot grigio. The weed-related items and the wine are at the center of the latest Hendrix-on-Hendrix lawsuit, as Janie has sued Leon and his business partner, Andrew Pitsicalis, for trademark infringement.

Mashable obtained the 64-page lawsuit, which makes for brilliant reading, if you enjoy family feuds and detailed retelling of other legal actions. The biggest issue in this round is that Janie and her associated LLCs want to bring an end to the unauthorized use of the Hendrix name on Jimi's Wines, Jimi's Teas, Jimi's Meds, and Purple Haze marijuana cigarettes.

In 2015, Janie and Experience Hendrix, LLC settled out of court with Leon and Pitsicalis, who had to pay undisclosed damages for selling unauthorized Jimi merch. Judge Thomas W. Zilly has twice issued injunctions against Leon Hendrix and Pitsicalis, barring them from using Jimi's name, signature, logos, or likeness. Last year, a court ruled that Leon had to stop using some Jimi-related items to sell his Purple Haze Liqueur—although the judge said that it could continue to be sold under the Purple Haze name, and that it could keep its stylized, vaguely Jimi-ish looking logo.

Although a court date has not been set, it seems like we can guess how this one will end. So if you're trying to complete your collection of Jimi's Wines, you might want to stock up on those bottles of Hey Joe Merlot soon.