DENVER - The Hershey Company, the giant candy maker, has filed a federal lawsuit against a Colorado company that is accuses of selling marijuana-infused chocolates that mimic the names and packaging of famous Hershey's candies.
The lawsuit was filed this week in Denver federal court against TinctureBelle LLC and an affiliated company, TinctureBelle Mari`juanka LLC, which are located in Pueblo West.
Hershey's lawsuit accuses TinctureBelle of trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition by selling marijuana-laced knock-offs of "Hershey’s famous and beloved" products like Reese's, Heath, Almond Joy and Yorky.
The lawsuit argues: "Defendants, who are well aware of the fame and popularity of these Hershey products and marks, are manufacturing and selling cannabis- and/or tetrahydrocannabinol-laced chocolate and candy products using names, marks and designs that are knock-offs of Hershey’s famous REESE’S, HEATH, ALMOND JOY and YORK trademarks and trade dresses, in order to increase sales of defendants' cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol candy products, draw additional attention to their products, confuse consumers as to the source of their products, call to consumers' minds Hershey’s famous and beloved brands, and otherwise to trade on the goodwill of Hershey and its brands."
The lawsuit includes side-by-side color photographs as evidence that TinctureBelle's "Hashees" packaging mimics Reese's peanut butter cups and likewise TinctureBelle's "Ganja Joy" and Almond Joy, and so on.
Hershey's is seeking a preliminary injunction to block the company from selling the alleged knock-offs as well as compensatory damages and punitive damages.
The candy giant also wants the court to order TinctureBelle's to return any profits from the look-alike products.