MED-a-Mints: Pot-infused mints at center of trademark dispute with Dixie Elixirs
The Colorado company that invented the formula for MED-a-Mints, a popular cannabis-infused mint candy, has announced that it will sue Denver-based edibles manufacturer Dixie Elixirs for trademark violations. Inventor Gary Gabrel claims that Dixie Elixirs violated the contract between them when it changed the MED-a-Mints packaging, making its own name more prominent and removing the words "cannabis infused."
The old MED-a-Mints packaging.
The new label is dangerous, he says: "The label says THC infused, 100 milligrams. So you've got to have at least some knowledge to recognize that as a cannabis product. A twelve-year-old or a ten-year-old might not know."
Gabrel claims his company, Bridge Marketing, entered into a licensing agreement with Dixie Elixirs in November 2012. The agreement, Gabrel says, worked like this: Bridge, which owns the MED-a-Mints recipe, provides Dixie Elixirs with a non-cannabis-infused powder that forms the base of the mints and then Dixie adds the cannabis oil and manufactures, packages and sells the finished product.
dixieelixirs.com A screen capture of the new MED-a-Mints packaging from the Dixie Elixirs website.
"We are imitating the business model of Coca-Cola," he says, "where Coke manages the brand and makes the magic syrup and then ships it to bottling companies around the country and around the world."
Gabrel, who's based in Longmont, describes himself as a serial entrepreneur. His past ventures, he says, include inventing a board game called Pente, which he sold to Parker Brothers, and developing a chain of pizza restaurants, called Hideaway Pizza, in Oklahoma.
Gabrel says he's "had a passion for cannabis my whole adult life" and decided to get into the marijuana-infused products business after speaking with a friend who has HIV. The friend used cannabis as medicine and made her own edibles -- which gave him the idea to come up with a formula for his own. He chose mints because they're small, discreet and because the dosage can be precise, he says.
"I think these will be the Bayer aspirin of the medical market and the Altoids of the recreational market," Gabrel says of MED-a-Mints.
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