Bloomberg Law Article: “Candymakers Seek New Tactics to Stop Marijuana Edible Copycats”

Here’s the introduction to their piece

In April 2020, a 5-year-old girl was hospitalized in Utah after eating candy her family got from a local food bank. What they thought was a Nerds Rope fruit chew was instead a sweet treat in nearly identical packaging—but one that happened to be infused with THC.

That incident became a high-profile example of why big brands like Hershey Co., Kellogg Co., and General Mills Inc. say it’s necessary to crack down on marijuana edibles whose packaging imitates their products—to protect children and, while they’re at it, their famous trademarks.

Such pot candy and snacks abound on the internet and in court disputes: THC-laced Oreo cookies called Stoneos; a Reefer’s cup instead of a Reese’s cup; Sour Patch Kids gummies reimagined as Stoney Patch; a 420-friendly spinoff of Mr. Goodbar called Mr. Dankbar.

In April, New York University researchers said their study of more than 250 marijuana edibles found that about 8% “closely resembled” existing snack foods, including many marketed to appeal to children with cartoons and fruity or candylike flavors.

Big candymakers had hoped this year to get Congress to help crack down on the copycats by requiring platforms like Amazon and eBay to pre-screen for marijuana-laced treats and packaging that imitate famous trademarks. That bid seems to have fallen short: A spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa (D-Calif.), who co-sponsored the Shop Safe Act, told Bloomberg Law that a provision protecting famous brands probably won’t make the final version being negotiated by lawmakers as part of a broader bill to boost competition with China.

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