By: Jason Beck, for High at 9 News
Published: Monday March 20, 2023
Cookies is a famous California cannabis brand with a significant following across the country and beyond. Founded in 2012, Cookies was established to provide top-shelf cannabis products to its customers. The Cookies clothing brand was created in 2008.
We spoke with someone who received a letter from the Department of Cannabis Control to request information relating to Cookies’ recent advertising and marketing activities and potentially any links to content that appears to resonate with child-like imagery. Our source shared with us the nitty gritty details of this letter.
We are bringing this breaking story to readers promptly from the High at 9 News team.
Let’s get into the details of the investigation into the Cookies cannabis brand based out of California.
A DCC Investigation is in the Works
The company has worked with several licensed cannabis businesses in California.
An investigation conducted by the Department of Cannabis Control has revealed that a particular licensee may have been engaging in prohibited marketing practices.
When we asked our anonymous source, they stated, "I don't see it as much different than what other brands are doing,” our source shared with High at 9 News.
“Plenty of brands are clearly using items children are actively engaged in."
As part of this investigation, the department has requested information, including the status of any intellectual property rights to the Cookies brand. This includes any associated logos, the identity of those holding the rights, and any relevant agreements or contracts between the Cookies brand or its owners.
It has also asked for details regarding whether the licensee is authorized to use the Cookies brand in connection with its retail cannabis business and any involvement with the production and marketing of clothing items or other non-cannabis merchandise that contain the Cookies brand.
According to our inside source, the letter they received from the DCC detailed their request for the following information pursuant to the Department’s regulations:
● If there are any intellectual property rights to the Cookies brand and associated logos.
● Any individuals or entities believed to own any intellectual property rights to Cookies.
● Any individuals or entities believed to have authority to control the use of the Cookies brands.
● If the licensee does not have any intellectual property rights to the Cookies brand, if they have authorization from the intellectual property holder of the Cookes brand to use in connection with the licensee’s commercial cannabis business.
● Any licensing agreements or other documentation indicating the authorization to use the Cookies brand in connection with the licensee’s retail cannabis business.
● The involvement of the licensee company with the Cookies brand as used outside of the retail cannabis business.
● If the licensee has entered into any agreements to receive from or provide monetary or other forms of consideration to the individuals or entities who hold the intellectual property rights to the Cookies brand.
● The involvement of the licensee with the production and marketing of clothing items that contain the Cookies brand or any associated logos.
● If the licensee’s cannabis retail business sells clothing items or other non-cannabis merchandise that contain the Cookies brand or any associated logos. If so, they ask for information on how these items were obtained.
In other words — it’s time for Cookies to show some documentation to the DCC.
Insuring Public Safety?
This investigation ensures that Cookies does not risk public safety by engaging in prohibited advertising practices. It is expected that the information requested by the Department will provide further insight into the marketing practices of the Cookies brand. Cookies has a reputation for providing top-notch cannabis products as a multi-state operator.
As a result, the company has sought to cultivate a brand identity that resonates with many customers.
However, the company also seeks to ensure its marketing practices comply with state and federal laws.
As part of this commitment, the Department of Cannabis Control must clearly understand Cookies’ marketing practices to continue to protect the public.
When We Asked our Source ‘Is the Marketing in California Cannabis Attracting Children?’
"I don't agree that Cookies market to children,” our source shares.
“However, I believe that other brands in California that are breaking written rules that are black and white should maybe take notice that DCC is interested in enforcing their rules and regulations.”
For example, Jeeter is a cannabis brand using heavy design elements that are straight from the Mario video game world. This type of blatant rip-off of themes that can relate to children is something that the DCC is not taking seriously.
Another brand, Super Dope, out of California, has been creating hentai-styled packaging for legal cannabis sales, a public safety concern.
Concerning the general safety of children in this particular case, this should be a warning to other brands in California blatantly disobeying marketing compliance in such sexually graphic manners.
Owners of licensed cannabis businesses should take this investigation as a reminder to carefully review all laws applicable to their companies, including the restrictions and regulations outlined in the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act.
This will help to ensure compliance and reduce the risk of violating applicable laws. In addition, in the event of an investigation, all owners should cooperate with the Department and provide requested information in a timely fashion.
The Letter From Our Source States That You Can Learn More from the Department of Cannabis Control
To learn more about the advertising and marketing practices of the Cookies brand, as well as regulations governing the medicinal and adult use of cannabis, visit the official website of the Department of Cannabis Control.
So everyone, is the DCC grasping at crumbs in the cookie jar, OR is that just how the cookie crumbles?