The Hershey Company, North America’s largest manufacturer of chocolate, is suing a Colorado-based vendor specializing in marijuana edibles, for trademark infringement. The lawsuit filed against Tincture Belle stipulates that the packaging of their edible pot products too closely resemble some of Hershey's beloved chocolate products.
Plus suing for trademark infringement, Reuters shared on June 6 that the lawsuit filed last week in Denver’s U.S. District Court "also creates a genuine safety risk with regard to consumers, including children, who may not distinguish between Hershey’s candy products and defendants’ cannabis." Hershey’s is concerned that innocent children might ingest the pot laced edibles thinking they were actually the well known Hershey chocolates.
According to the Edibles List website, Tincture Belle is in compliance with Amendment 20 which in 2012 legalized recreational marijuana use in Colorado, and markets their products as being helpful “in a variety of issues from pain to headaches to insomnia” and being good for pain, anxiety, stress, and discrete medicating. But, according to Hershey’s, some of the Tincture Belle products are still visual knockoffs of Hershey products, for example:
… the Ganja Joy bars made by TinctureBelle LLC and TinctureBelle Marijuanka LLC too closely resemble Almond Joy produced by Hershey.
It also says three other marijuana edibles - Hasheath, Hashees and Dabby Patty - are knock-offs of Hershey's Heath, Reese's peanut butter cups and York peppermint patty candies.
Reuters reported trying to contact Tincture Belle on Friday for a statement. Unfortunately, the Tincture Belle website was “out of action” that day.
It was only last month that the Colorado legislature looked into the packaging of marijuana edibles and made an effort to oversee those products more strictly following two adult deaths that might be connected to marijuana-infused products. Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper even appointed a task force to “design packaging for marijuana edibles such as cookies and candy that makes them easily distinguishable from regular foods.”
The Huffington Post reported that although Tincture Bell products are only sold in legal marijuana stores and medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, the Hershey’s lawsuit is seeking financial damages and also wants the pot-infused products to stop being sold immediately. Reportedly, according to some doctors and parents in Colorado, children have already ingested the marijuana edibles allegedly looking a lot like Hershey’s products, “sending them to hospitals in increasing numbers.”
"Individuals and families the world over trust Hershey and its various brands as signifying safe and delicious treats for people of all ages," the lawsuit says.