Candymakers want weed companies to stop mimicking them

Candymakers (Mars, Hershey, Mondelez) are filing complaints and lawsuits against cannabis makers. Why? Branding edibles as “candy” is a public hazard for children.


May 26, 2021

Candy companies don’t want you to confuse cannabis edibles with their products. And, tbh, you probably don’t want that for you either.

Now Big Candy is going after the weed biz.

Wrigley Jr. Company — owned by Mars Inc. (the private candymaker with $40B a year in sales) — has filed a complaint against several cannabis companies, saying they use packaging that closely resembles Skittles, Starburst, and Life Savers, The New York Times reports.

The key issue is intellectual property…

… but the suit also notes that someone, potentially a child, could accidentally get themselves high.

Edibles make up 10% of the cannabis market. Last year, 554 kids accidentally consumed them, compared to 19 such cases in 2010, per The Washington Post.

Though not fatal, side effects can be dangerous.

Widespread recreational legalization is one factor in the rise

But another is confusion caused by similar branding.

In 2020, a 5- and 11-year-old were hospitalized after eating “Medicated Nerds Rope” mistakenly distributed by volunteers at a Utah food bank.

Ferrara Candy Company (the real Nerds maker) later sued a California-based cannabis delivery business over the misleading product. A judge ordered the company to stop selling it.

Hershey Company and Mondelez International (maker of Sour Patch gummies — which our writers devour on deadline) have filed similar complaints.

Candy confusion has been an issue in other industries, too

  • In 2018, the FDA went after vaping and e-cigarette products packaged like sweets
  • Candy cigs have fallen out of favor and Walmart banned them, but you can still buy them online

For real, though, check these Starburst knock-offs: it’s absurd.

Source: The New York Times

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