Hershey’s Sues Seattle and Denver Pot Shops Over 'Reefer’s Cups,' 'Mr. Dankbar' and 'Hashees'

The giant candy company wants the profits from the edibles so far.

The following article originally appeared in Cannabis Now:

The Hershey Company has filed a federal lawsuit against Seattle Conscious Care Cooperative for trademark infringement, citing issues with their edible products called Reefer’s Cups and Mr. Dankbar.

Jeff Beckman, a spokesperson for The Hershey Company, told KIRO 7: “The Hershey Company’s trademarks are iconic and among our company’s most important assets. They are recognized by consumers around the world, and our company has spent as many as 120 years building the trust and equity in these iconic brands. Consumers depend on our brand names to represent a level of quality and dependability. These entities have used Hershey’s trademarks, without authorization, to trade on Hershey’s goodwill and reputation, and to draw greater attention to their products; these unauthorized uses of Hershey’s trademarks also make the products more appealing to children.

We have always vigorously protected our brands and will continue to do so whenever we believe that others have infringed on these valuable intellectual assets.”

KIRO 7 reports the company has filed a similar lawsuit in Colorado.

However, an employee of the Seattle Conscious Care Cooperative told Raw Story, that the Co-op isn’t the one to blame: “It’s not even our product,” said the employee, who wished to remain anonymous, “it’s just something that we carry. So it’s a vendor, it’s not even us.”

The company that produces the Reefer’s Cup appears to be Seattle Finest Edibles, who also makes a Kush Krispie Treat and infused jellies that are sold in several locations around Washington. A message for Seattle’s Finest was not returned at this time.

Colorado legislators are in the midst of drafting new laws to prevent this type of logo duplication in the state’s edible products. House bill 14-1366, which passed on May 7th of this year, states: “Current law prohibits a retail marijuana products licensee (manufacturer) from adding marijuana to a trademarked food product unless the trademarked food product is part of a recipe and the manufacturer does not represent that the final product contains a trademarked food product. The bill expands this prohibition to knowingly adding marijuana to food products that a reasonable consumer would confuse with a trademarked food product. It also prohibits knowingly adding marijuana to a product that is primarily marketed to children.”

[Editor's Note: Hershey's also filed a trademark violation suit against two affiliated companies in Denver, Colorado, both of which make chocolate-infused marijuana candy that bares the names "Hashees," and "Ganja Joy," among others. Those companies are TinctureBelle LLC and TinctureBelle Mari'juanka LLC. Hershey's alleges that they package their treats to look like similarly named Hershey's candies.

The lawsuit against the Denver companies states: "Defendants, who are well aware of the fame and popularity of these Hershey products and marks, are manufacturing and selling cannabis- and/or tetrahydrocannabinol-laced chocolate and candy products using names, marks and designs that are knock-offs of Hershey’s famous Reese's, Heath, Almond Joy and York trademarks and trade dresses, in order to increase sales of defendants’ cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol candy products, draw additional attention to their products, confuse consumers as to the source of their products, call to consumers’ minds Hershey’s famous and beloved brands, and otherwise to trade on the goodwill of Hershey and its brands."]

For a weekly roundup of news and developments in the drug reform movement and the injustices stemming from prohibition,  sign up to receive  AlterNet's Drugs Newsletter. Make sure to scroll down to "Drugs" and subscribe.

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Election 2018