DENVER (AP) — The Hershey Co. has sued a Colorado marijuana edibles maker, claiming it makes four pot-infused candies that too closely resemble iconic products of the chocolate maker.
The trademark infringement lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Denver this week against TinctureBelle LLC and TinctureBelle Marijuanka LLC.
It alleges TinctureBelle’s Ganja Joy, Hasheath, Hashees and Dabby Patty mimic Hershey’s Almond Joy, Heath, Reese’s peanut butter cups and York peppermint patty candies, respectively.
TinctureBelle did not immediately return messages seeking comment. The Denver Business Journal first reported about the lawsuit filed Tuesday.
The company’s website says its products, which include lotions and balms, are “diabetic safe and delicious” and helpful with a variety of issues, including pain, headaches and insomnia.
The edibles are sold in Colorado’s legal pot shops and medical marijuana dispensaries.
Pennsylvania-based Hershey says TinctureBelle products are packaged in a way that will confuse consumers, including children. Hershey’s suit says TinctureBelle “creates a genuine safety risk with regard to consumers” who may inadvertently eat them thinking they are ordinary chocolate candy.
The lawsuit was filed as Colorado lawmakers look to tighten safety regulations for largely unmonitored marijuana snacks that can be indistinguishable from regular candies and baked goods.
Parents and doctors have said some children are eating the highly potent gummy bears, cookies, brownies and other items by mistake, sending them to hospitals in increasing numbers.
Hershey wants a judge to order TinctureBelle to stop selling the items. It is also seeking damages.
“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.
More than two dozen people had reported poisonings from marijuana edibles to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center as of April, citing dizziness, nausea and hallucinations. At least six were children who swallowed innocent-looking edibles, the poison center said.
Pot critics’ concerns about the marijuana-laced products were stoked by the March death of a college student who authorities said ate more than the recommended dose of a marijuana-laced cookie and jumped to his death from a hotel balcony. In April, a woman told a 911 dispatcher that her husband was hallucinating and talking about the end of the world after he had eaten a marijuana-infused candy and taken pain pills shortly before allegedly shooting her.
Supporters of the new marijuana law and some experts say alcohol causes far more problems among users, and the issues with pot can be largely addressed through better regulations.
***Note from Anna: Lord the drama. In the 50’s it was demon alcohol killing folks by the millions(it wasn’t), in the 60’s it was LSD frying people’s brains out(Nope) , in the 70’s it was mushrooms creating “idiot savants” (and geniuses), in the 80’s it was cocaine and it made for the most economically productive generation in American history. Then the tides shifted and In the 90’s it was bad chemical drugs, in 2000 it was meth.Do you know what the politicians should be focusing on? Creating jobs, ending alcoholism, and stopping the methamphetamine epidemic. People will sniff paint fumes,glue,and computer can air if they decide to.
If people do not read the labels on their foods, heed the rules on the labels, or ask questions about what they put in their bodies whose fault is that? It takes five minutes to ask specific questions about what people put into their bodies. People do it every day at the pharmacies, grocery stores, and malls. Why do certain people suddenly lose their abilities to read and think while purchasing cannabis?
Even after billions spent America’s top scientists can’t stop basic aspirin from causing stomach ulcers and the FDA can’t stop foodborne illnesses from contaminated agricultural crops each year.The responsibility of consuming marijuana is with the consumer. The responsibility of the vendor is to make sure their products are vended safe and responsibly. The responsibility of the grower is to make sure clean, consumable plants enter the supply chain.
If all three of these things have occurred properly then it means the consumer has comprehension or learning problems. Farmers, vendors, and dispensaries are not responsible for those issues. However, if people willingly sold dirty or toxic products to a trusting public, and sick patients, the judge should throw the book at them.
The marijuana farming, medical, and retail industries are here to stay people. Get together and sort it all out.
As far as Hershey’s is concerned, how are they suing a company for profit that is recognized by the federal government as illegal? Chocolate ingredients are globally-produced and highly imported products so how exactly are they going to absolutely know that their very specific recipe of chocolate was used in the first place? Big corporations are going away. They must re-accept the re-emergence of small businesses and community farms or go bankrupt. Niche marijuana bakers are excellent chocolatiers.One good MMJ-infused CBD recipe sold to a large global competitor and Hershey’s is finished. Big businesses needs to adapt to, and cooperate with,the new marijuana or be absorbed entirely.