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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Major food and beverage companies are recalling counterfeit marijuana

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Last week, a coalition of major food and beverage companies (known as “consumer packaged goods companies”) asked Congress to do more about the growing number of edible THC products and counterfeit brands that are eliminating known ingredients. the message It is signed by the Consumer Brands Association and fourteen other associations and corporations, including companies such as General Mills, PepsiCo, Post Consumer Brands, and the Kellogg Company.

“Children are increasingly threatened by the unethical use of famous brand logos, characters, trademarks, and commercial clothing on edible products that contain THC. While cannabis (and incidental amounts of THC) may be legal in some states, the use of cannabis (and incidental amounts of THC) may be legal in some states. These famous brands, without the trademark owners’ explicit approval, of the food products have created serious health and safety risks for consumers, especially children, who cannot tell.The difference between the real products of these brands and the counterfeit THC products that promote the brand’s reputation for profit While law enforcement focuses on tackling illegal sales, this unscrupulous practice pointed to a gap in existing law — the widespread sale of packaging over the Internet that promotes these iconic brands.”

The letter cites three notable examples (Trix Edibles, Cheetos Edibles, and Stoneo) with screenshots of news articles underneath such as “marijuana foods disguised as popular candy and snacks featured in Florida schools” and “a young child hospitalized after eating a marijuana-containing snack.” Notably, the examples of Trix Edibles and Cheetos Edibles don’t even mention the manufacturer and are often indistinguishable from the actual packaging of those items, which are all part of the problem.

The group is proposing an amendment to the Safe Store Act, a law that imposes liability for advertising, selling or distributing goods under counterfeit trademarks, when the merchandise indicates health or safety. Under the proposed amendment, liability is also appended when a similarly “famous” tag is used. The definition of “famous mark” already exists under federal law, referring to trademarks “widely recognized by the general consumer public in the United States as designating the source of goods or services for the trademark owner.”

The group argues that the only implication of liability for “fake labels” does not reach these bad actors, which is why they continue to be so prevalent in the market today. They sign the letter by urging support because deterring the sale of these counterfeit THC items clearly indicates the health and safety of children:

“Unfortunately, [the current] The language does not prohibit the sale of the above-mentioned packaging and products due to the technical identification of counterfeit tags. This should be amended to include “famous” labels, a term already defined in US law, to extend this protection and deter the sale of these fake THC items that clearly refer to the “health and safety” of children. This change is critical because it fills a loophole in the current language to address the critical health and safety issue. We urge you for your support.”

Banning underage marijuana consumption isn’t a new goal by any means — there is broad consensus that precautions need to be implemented to ensure children don’t accidentally ingest cannabis. Ultimately, this is a ‘no’ under the relevant copyright laws anyway.

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