More than a dozen CPG companies and industry groups sent a letter April 27 urging Congress to address the problem of companies using copycat images and trademarks to sell THC-infused edibles. In particular, they pointed out the danger to children who see packaging that looks like Trix cereal or Oreos and don't know the product contains the hallucinogenic ingredients of marijuana.“While cannabis (and incidental amounts of THC) may be legal in some states, the use of these famous marks — clearly without approval of the brand owners — on food products has created serious health and safety risks for consumers, particularly children, who cannot tell the difference between these brands’ true products and copycat THC products that leverage the brand’s fame for profit,” the groups said in their letter to Congress.
PHOTO provided by Consumer Brands Assn.
The letter claims there is a gap in existing law that has led to the widespread online sale of packaging that mimics famous brands. The Shop Safe Act, included in the Usica-Competes legislation, targets counterfeit products and offers an opportunity to close that gap with a language change. Amending the current language to include “famous” marks would support reducing accidental exposures to THC in children.
“Unfortunately, this language does not prohibit sale of the above packaging and products due to the technical definition of counterfeit marks. This should be amended to include ‘famous’ marks, a term already defined in U.S. code, to extend this protection and deter the sale of these copycat THC items,” the letter added.
FDA reported 2,362 THC exposure cases from Jan. 1, 2021, through Feb. 28, 2022, the letter claims. Of those, 41% of exposures involved pediatric patients and 82% of unintentional exposures affected children.
The letter was signed by Consumer Brands Assn., American Bakers Association, Association for Dressing and Sauces, American Herbal Products Association, Corn Refiners Association, Digital Citizens Alliance, General Mills Inc., Juice Products Association, Kellogg Company, Mondelez International, National Confectioners Association, PepsiCo, Policy Center for Public Health and Safety, Post Consumer Brands, and SNAC International.