In a first of its kind lawsuit, America’s largest chocolate maker, The Hershey Company, has filed a lawsuit against a Colorado based marijuana edibles maker.
According to USA Today, the Hershey Company is claiming trademark infringement against Colorado based TinctureBelle and is alleging that Tincturebelle’s “Ganja Joy” mirrors Hershey’s Almond Joy, “Hasheath” mirrors Hershey’s “Heath Bar”, “Hashees” mimics Hershey’s Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and finally, Dabby Patty impersonates Hershey’s “York Peppermint Pattie”
The Hershey Company said that TinctureBelle’s products, which are sold in pot dispensaries throughout Colorado, are packaged and presented in a way that too closely resembles its own products and may result in confusion on the part of the consumer being able to distinguish between TinctureBelle’s pot laced products and Hershey’s own trademarked products. Hershey’s lawsuit said that TinctureBelle “creates a genuine safety risk with regard to consumers” who may inadvertently eat them thinking they are ordinary chocolate candy. Hershey goes on to say that “individuals and families the world over trust Hershey and its various brands as signifying safe and delicious treats for people of all ages.”
While, according to an article in The Huffington Post, TinctureBelle claims on its official website that its products, which include lotions and balms, are “diabetic safe and delicious” and helpful with a variety of issues, including pain, headaches and insomnia, Hershey has a valid point to its concern.
Since Colorado’s legalization of marijuana use, USA Today tells us that more than two dozen people have reported poisonings from marijuana edibles to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center in April alone. Parents and doctors have also stated that children are eating the potentially dangerous cookies, chocolate treats, and pot laced candies by mistake, sending them to hospitals in increasing numbers.
The Inquisitr observes, after examining and posting photos of the two company’s products side by side (above image), that the packaging of TinctureBelle’s disputed products does closely resemble that of Hershey’s iconic treats, making one wonder if TinctureBelle did indeed set out to impersonate Hershey’s trademarked design.
Whatever TinctureBelle’s initial intent for selling the products that Hershey alleges are similar to its own, in its lawsuit, The Hershey Company seeks a judge to order TinctureBelle to stop production of the disputed pot laced products and The Hershey Company is seeking damages.
Colorado lawmakers have observed this lawsuit and other first time situations since legalizing recreational marijuana use, and according to The Huffington Post, the law makers are looking at ways to tighten regulations on the largely unmonitored candies and chocolate treats being sold at pot dispensaries across the state.