Reese's cup or Reefer's cup? Almond Joy or Ganja Joy?
Hershey's has filed two trademark infringement complaints over marijuana edibles the candy company says look like their products.
The Pennsylvania-based chocolate maker is suing Tincturebelle, a pot-infused candy manufacturer in Colorado, and Conscious Care Cooperative, a medical marijuana dispensary in Washington state.
The lawsuits, both filed June 3, claim the pot-infused candy violates Hershey's trademarks, dilutes its brand and is "unfair competition" to the company.
Hershey's said the similarities between its ordinary candy and the pot candy could cause someone to "inadvertently ingest" the pot candy, according to the complaints.
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Seattle-based CCC sells a peanut butter Reefer's cup and Kush cup that Hershey's says resemble its Reese's cups, as well as a Mr. Dankbar that is "in mimicry" of Hershey's Mr. Goodbar packaging and design, according to Hershey's complaint.
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CCC does not manufacture the pot-infused candy it sells, said Nathan Paine, a lawyer for CCC, in an interview with USA TODAY Network.
In Denver, Tincturebelle makes a Ganja Joy candy bar that Hershey's says infringes on its Almond Joy product, Hasheath, that Hershey's says looks like a Heath bar, and a Dabby Patty it says copies its York peppermint patty. The products are sold in Colorado's medical dispensaries and pot shops.
USA TODAY has requested comment from Tincturebelle.
Medical marijuana is legal in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Colorado and Washington are the only two states with legal recreational marijuana, and Washington's retail stores are expected to open as early as next month.
Hershey's is not seeking a specific dollar amount in damages, but a company spokesman said "significant damages" are in order, in addition to stopping the use of the trademarks, according to Jeff Beckman, spokesman for Hershey's, in an e-mail to USA TODAY Network.
At CCC, the only people who can purchase items at the dispensary are medical marijuana patients, Paine said. The dispensary is not open to the public and does not sell any regular candy that's not infused with pot.
"Even if they're similar, is a patient really going to go to their own collective and purchase a Kush cup thinking they're getting a Reese's cup? No reasonable juror would ever buy that argument," Paine said.
It's unclear why Hershey's chose to file the suit against CCC specifically. Paine said there are other larger dispensaries that probably sell more of the same products.
In his e-mail, Beckman did not specify why the company singled out CCC, but said Hershey's would "seek to stop both the manufacture and sale of these infringing products."
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