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Colorado companies in business dispute over cannabis mints

The legalization of marijuana in Colorado has no doubt been a boon to companies that sell it in edible form. Two Colorado companies who make and sell "edibles," however, are now in a legal dispute over a change in packaging.

Longmont-based Bridge Marketing LLC is suing Denver-based Dixie Elixirs and Edibles, also known as Left Bank LLC. Bridge is alleging breach of contract and trademark infringement. The product at the center of the suit is MED-a-Mints, which are cannabis-infused mints.

According to the suit, the 2012 licensing agreement between the two companies stipulated that Dixie would "manufacture, package and distribute MED-a-Mints" and receive royalties from their sales. Dixie makes over 100 products, including candy bars and soda, which are infused with cannabis.

Bridge Marketing contends that Dixie "dramatically altered the packaging for MED-a-Mints without authorization or consent" early in 2014. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a law earlier this year that requires edibles to be wrapped in childproof, opaque packaging. It was not reported whether the new packaging for MED-a-Mints was implemented to comply with the new law.

According to the chief operating officer of Dixie, the founder of Bridge approved the new packaging. He says the company has emails from him "praising the look, quality and feel of the new packaging." According to Dixie's COO, they were in negotiations with Bridge's founder and his attorney when Bridge issued a press release in April, prior to the filing of the lawsuit, reportedly calling Dixie negligent and reckless.

Dixie stopped distributing MED-a-Mints after Bridge sent the company a termination letter. However, the COO says that his company is not guilty of trademark infringement or breach of contract.

Colorado companies that manufacture and sell marijuana products face specific regulations and legal challenges that other businesses may not. However, business disputes between these companies are not necessarily any different from those between other companies. Colorado attorneys experienced in business litigation work to help their clients come to the optimal resolution for their company.

Source: Denver Business Journal, "Colorado pot companies bicker over mint trademark" Dennis Huspeni, Apr. 22, 2014

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