Last week, major food and beverage companies and trade associations wrote a letter to Congress urging them to stop the proliferation of cannabis products that mimic their brands. The companies say that the “copycat THC edible products create risks for children and must be stopped.”
In the letter, the companies contend that “Children are increasingly threatened by the unscrupulous use of famous brand logos, characters, trademarks, and trade dress on THC-laced edible products.” The letter features images of the brands often infringed on, including Trix cereal, Cheetos, and Oreo.
“While cannabis (and incidental amounts of THC) may be legal in some states, the use of these famous marks, clearly without approval of the brand owners, on food products has created serious health and safety risks for consumers, particularly children, who cannot tell the difference between these brands’ true products and copycat THC products that leverage the brand’s fame for profit. While law enforcement focuses on addressing illegal sales, this unscrupulous practice has pointed out a gap in existing law – the widespread online sale of packaging that leverages these famous brands.” – Letter via the Consumer Brands Association, April 27, 2022
The companies call on Congress to amend the SHOP SAFE Act to include protections for famous marks. The legislation currently seeks to create liability for electronic commerce platforms for advertising, sale, or distribution of goods with counterfeit marks that “implicate health and safety.” The brands say the THC copycat brands “clearly” fall under the purview of the bill’s health and safety provisions.
The signatories include Post Consumer Brands, LLC, Kellogg Company, PepsiCo, Inc., General Mills, Mondelēz International, Inc., and several industry associations.
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