Dixie Elixirs and pot-infused MED-a-Mints inventor settle trademark dispute

Denver-based edibles manufacturer Dixie Elixirs and the inventor of MED-a-Mints cannabis-infused candy have settled a dispute over alleged trademark violations. MED-a-Mints inventor Gary Gabrel claimed that Dixie Elixirs violated the contract between them when it changed the product's packaging, making its own name more prominent and replacing the words "cannabis infused" with "THC infused" -- a move he said was dangerous because children and some adults might not realize that the mints contain pot.

In a statement, Dixie Elixirs calls a lawsuit filed by Gabrel a "disappointing public spectacle." The two parties "have reached an amicable separation agreement," it says.

Here's more of Dixie Elixirs' statement:

While specific terms of the settlement were not disclosed, a critical component of the agreement allows that Dixie Elixirs and Edibles has the right to sell its remaining inventory of produced and packaged mints. Once the existing inventory is depleted, Dixie will no longer be required to produce the Med-a-Mints line which utilizes Bridget Marketing's proprietary formulation.

"While today's announcement is a bit anti-climactic in that we had never intended for this simple dissolution to be a public fight, we are are pleased that the agreement was reached in just a few short weeks following Mr. Gabrel's disappointing public spectacle," said Chuck Smith, COO/CFO of Dixie Elixirs.

"We wish Mr. Gabrel well, but we are of course very excited to now be free to focus on development of our own exclusive line of Dixie proprietary mints, which will follow the lead of our other award-winning edibles line in terms of quality, consistency and safety of both packaging and product."

Dixie Elixirs spokesman Joe Hodas says the company will introduce its own mints "in the near future." Dixie Elixirs' product, he says, will "be a little different than what we had on the market previously but also, we believe, better."

One thing that won't change, however, is that the mints will still contain a relatively low dose of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Hodas says it's important to Dixie Elixirs to offer low-dose products for safety reasons: First-time users and out-of-towners with little marijuana experience sometimes don't understand the potency of edibles and can misuse them -- occasionally with tragic results.

"The low-dose option gives them the opportunity to try edibles from a much safer perspective," Hodas says.

MED-a-Mints inventor Gabrel also released a statement. In part, it reads: "We're glad to move on with our original vision to be first to market with precise, small dosage MED-a-Mints in truly safe packaging.... Edible marijuana is not candy and must be packaged and distributed in a responsible manner. We have never wavered from our commitment to consumer safety in labeling and childproof protection."

Gabrel says his company, Bridge Marketing, is currently looking for a new business partner to replace Dixie Elixirs to manufacture and sell MED-a-Mints.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Video: Pot brownies legal in Colorado could land Texas' Jacob Lavoro in jail for life."

Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at melanie.asmar@westword.com

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