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New York Times

Big candy is angry

At first glance, Skittles packages look similar to those sold in supermarket candy aisles. The block letters are filled with white, and the flowing rainbow and red candy are replaced by the dots above the letter “i”. If you look closely, you can see some small differences. Small stylized marijuana leaf background pattern. Warning label; A number that indicates the amount of THC, a cannabis addict, contained in each part of the candy. The image is included in Wm’s proceedings. Wrigley Jr., owned by candy giant Mars, filed a lawsuit against five companies in May for selling cannabis-injected edible foods that looked like old friends Skittles, Starburst, and Lifesaver. Although the proceedings focus on intellectual property rights, plaintiffs also allege that counterfeit products can inadvertently ingest people, especially children. Mars Inc signing up for The Morning newsletter from The New York Times. A spokeswoman for the company wrote in an email that the company was “terribly disturbed” by the product. America is at an interesting crossroads. Big candy, which was accused of being the main source of refined sugar during the wellness era, is where adults suffering from pandemics have become the wildwest of the entertainment marijuana consumption that roams and is unlikely to be a sheriff. In recent years, similar proceedings filed by Wrigley have been filed by Hershey (against Tincture Belle, a product similar to Reese’s peanut butter cups, heather bars, almond joy bars, and York peppermint patties) and Mondelez International (against the company Hawking). Proposed by). Stoney Patch Kids) and Ferrara Candy Co. (for stores selling medicated geek ropes). All of these proceedings have been settled and SMEs have agreed to suspend production and sale of the problematic product. Many public health officials are worried that without proper regulation, cases of accidental ingestion will continue to increase among children as food availability increases. Some toxicology centers have already observed this trend in their data. For example, in the first nine months of 2020, 122 children under the age of five were exposed to THC in Washington State, compared to 85 during the same period in 2019. The most common side effects reported included vomiting, lethargy and chest pain. Many food companies operating in states where medical or recreational cannabis is legal strive to comply with local regulations, but the illegal market is still thriving. “I feel angry and frustrated when such companies create headlines to do what they have deliberately avoided in traps,” said Colorado, which sells cannabis-injected products. Joe Hodas, Chief Marketing Officer of the Wanna brand, said. A recent review of the website owned by the defendants in the Wrigley proceedings infused cannabis such as Stoner Patch Dummy, World Dunkest Gusher’s, Gashead Extremes Sourfuls, Trips Ahoy, Buttafingaz, and Kalibo Happy Coke. Found a product. Christopher Gindlespelger, a spokesman for the National Confectioners Association, an industry group in Washington, DC, said, “The situation is getting worse, with 350 members, including Mars, Hershey’s, Ferrara, and Monderes.” There are. ” “Cannabis companies can’t freely hurt existing brands and shouldn’t be forgiven. It causes consumer confusion.” Modest little treats Currently, the use of medical marijuana in most states It is licensed (Alabama has just joined the list) and recreational marijuana has been legalized in 18 states, including New York. Sales in New York are not expected to begin until 2022 at the earliest, but companies are rushing to get real estate and prepare to open the market. Some also sell hemp-derived Delta-8-THC in the form of candies. With the spread of legalization, more players and consumers have entered the food market. “Eatable. They are portable. Sean Arnold, founder of Terradigm Consulting, who advises cannabis companies on licensing, infrastructure, and product development, said: Edible is half a pastry for hours. We’ve come a long way since the days of pot brownies, which could lead to dysfunction or nothing at all. “Ten years ago, I bought a brownie was a draw.” Henry Wickowski, a lawyer who has focused on cannabis law for 17 years, said. “I didn’t know where to go.” Today, licensed manufacturers are required by the state to test product efficacy and label packages with each dose and amount of THC throughout the package. Some edible companies use small amounts of THC to make their products, so even inexperienced people can try the dose. According to Surfside, a cannabis data analysis company in New York, the availability of edible foods and their discretion make it one of the fastest growing categories of cannabis. Surfside estimates that food has outpaced the growth of other cannabis markets by 29% in the last three months compared to the same period in 2020. Wykowski may have escaped notifications from big companies like Mars and Hershey, “because cannabis is now a big company,” and the past is on their radar today. He teaches a course on cannabis law at the University of California Hastings College of Law, and one of his sessions deals with the law on similarity of other products. “When cannabis began to take off five or ten years ago, it was a joke to have something like an infused cereal, Cap’n Punch,” Wykowski said. “But the industry is mature and people who know what they are doing are no longer engaged in such acts.” Nevertheless, he was cease and desist from the candy company. We regularly work with food companies to receive letters of action. Most of these cases do not reach court. “For 90 percent of the time, people stop looking at the letter,” Wickowski said. Most legal cannabis companies strive to strictly comply with regulations. Lightshade, which operates nine clinics in the Denver area, has an eight-person compliance and audit team led by Charisse Harris. Harris said there are four checkpoints where the product is evaluated, and weekly auditors perform random checks at the store. Some warning signs include products that feature a repetition of the word “candy” (for example, “candy” or “candy”) or products that are not in a package that meets state requirements for child safety. Harris said. “I don’t say much,” she added. The lack of federal regulations on cannabis makes compliance more complex for companies operating in different states. “In Florida, the packaging is black and white and there are no images,” Hodas said of traps operating in 11 states and Canada. Gummies are a plain off-white color. On the other hand, in Colorado, the trap container has a picture of a slice of pink watermelon, and the gummies are a rich coral shade. Nancy Marzel, a lawyer specializing in intellectual property law, states that there are three main aspects to candy that can be protected by trademark and copyright law. Give me a hershey kiss. “You have the trademark Kiss, the shape of the trademark and trade dress itself, and the copyrighted packaging,” Marzel said. According to Mertzel, other possible intellectual property protections include patents. For example, Mars is seeking a patent for chocolate, which is less soluble than other formulations. There is also a corporate secret law. The most famous example of trade secrets is the Coca-Cola formula. The other is Hermann’s mayonnaise. The proceedings filed by Wrigley against cannabis impersonators are straightforward, Marzel said. “We certainly understand Wrigley’s concerns about getting intellectual property to be used by third parties. Those concerns are exacerbated for products that children shouldn’t really get,” Marzel said. Mr. says. She compared endangered public health concerns with what was widely discussed when the tobacco industry used cartoons to target children in the 1960s. Even the Flintstones were on top of it, and Fred and Bernie were promoting Winston cigarettes at the infamous commercial spot. Andrew Brisbo, the secretary general of the Marijuana Regulatory Authority in Michigan, who protects children, said making cannabis inaccessible to young people is one of the key functions of the program he oversees. It was. And edible is a top priority. “Eating is a major issue when we see accidental consumption,” Blissbo said. “Young people don’t accidentally smoke marijuana.” Public health and policy consultant Gillian Schauer, who has worked with many states on cannabis policy issues, said two edible foods from a public health policy perspective. He said there was a potential concern. Overconsumption and accidental consumption. Eating can take some time to start, so people may rush to eat more without waiting for the first effect. Some inexperienced users do not know how much THC to consume and are not educated about the potential effects of cannabis. Low doses are considered 1-2 milligrams of THC, but effectiveness depends on many factors, including weight and the amount of food the consumer eats that day. Accidental consumption can affect anyone, but “most edible foods look like candies, cookies, cakes, so cannabis edible products can be confused with other edible products. Because it primarily affects children. ”She published a report edited by the Toxic Control Centers in Colorado and Washington in 2012 to legalize the use of recreational cannabis. I pointed out. , Rise from 34 to 94. In 2017, Washington began demanding that all food products carry the “not for children” logo (which doesn’t mean much for 2-year-olds). In Colorado, edible is the primary way children under the age of 5 accidentally consume cannabis. In 2019, 108 people under the age of 19 were accidentally exposed to cannabis in Colorado. In 2011, a year before the state legalized its use for recreational purposes, the number was 16. Like Washington, Colorado is now required to package edible foods to include warning signs. The state also bans the use of the word “candy” in marijuana packaging and the sale of edible foods that look like people, animals, and fruits. According to Schauer, other ways to reduce the risk of accidental ingestion include requiring children to have a safe package, requiring each edible item to be individually wrapped, and the effectiveness of individual edible items. Includes limiting and educating consumers living with children on how to store cannabis products. .. She said it was important to create a package that wouldn’t catch the eye of the child. For example, in Canada, where cannabis is legal, federal law requires packages to have a uniform color and smooth texture, without cutout windows, scents, sounds, or inserts. (Among other requirements). According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian law is strict, but recently in mid-May, a child was hospitalized in New Brunswick after eating a Stoneo cookie made like Oreo. In the United States, state law is far away. Not too strict; in most cases they ban the inclusion of cartoon characters and make a general statement about how the package should not appeal to children. “Risk can be much more limited than we’ve ever seen,” says Schauer. Hodas has three children aged 12, 17, and 19. He has been in the cannabis industry for over 7 years. When he has products at home, he keeps them safe with bags made by StashLogix. It may not slow down a motivated 15-year-old kid, but it will stop the toddler, he said. “If you’re locked and kept out of reach or invisible, that’s the best way to prevent ingestion,” says Hodas. For parents of a certain age, it may be reminiscent of the 1983 public service announcement “We’re Not Candy.” In this announcement, a quartet of hairdressers singing medicine on TV advises children to “fear us healthy.” The fact that the product under scrutiny is a type of candy, has just been enhanced, and no one is looking at the same screen anymore makes it hard to imagine that marijuana memes are so impressive. .. This article was originally published in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company

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