Photo by Darren Halstead via Unsplash
This is not the first time the Girl Scouts have gone to bat against a cannabis company, previously having clamped down on the use of the strain name “Girl Scout Cookies.”
As usual, we’ve been monitoring both brewing and active trademark disputes in the cannabis space, and the most recent example involves the institution that is the Girl Scouts.
According to a recent article in Forbes, California cannabis-edibles company Kaneh Co. was promoting its cannabis-infused cookies as similar to several of the Girl Scouts’ cookie brands. According to the article, Kaneh was comparing its “Toasted Coconut Caramels (‘flecked with vanilla and sea salt’) to the Scouts’ Samoas; its Lemon Sugar Cookies to the Scouts’ Lemonades; and its Salted Toffee Blondies (‘a brown sugar blondie swirled with toffee chips and a generous dose of sea salt’) to the Scouts’ Toffee-tastic cookies.” All of these descriptions were included in an emailed advertisement for Kaneh’s goods, and a representative from Kaneh stated that the Girl Scouts comparison would not appear in any print or online advertisements.
The Girl Scouts, however, were not amused by Kaneh’s likening of its products to the Girls Scouts’ cookies, particularly given the connection to cannabis. A statement from the Girl Scouts said, “We consider … such use of our [cookie names] trademarks to be misappropriation, which we take seriously and, when applicable, [we] will send a cease and desist request.”
This is not the first time the Girl Scouts have gone to bat against a cannabis company, previously having clamped down on the use of the strain name “Girl Scout Cookies.” See: How an LA Weed Dispensary Pissed Off the Girl Scouts.
Quite frankly, it’s understandable that a youth organization would object to the use of its intellectual property in conjunction with a Schedule I controlled substance. But what is interesting about the Girl Scouts’ current beef with Kaneh’s use of its intellectual property (IP) is that the Girl Scouts representative didn’t argue that Kaneh was infringing the Girl Scouts’ trademarks (as was the case in the disputes we’ve covered in the past and linked to above). The representative instead asserted that such use of the Girl Scouts’ cookie names was “misappropriation,” and this is an important distinction.
Published: March 09, 2020
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News