Why is the maple syrup debate going on in Canada?
The Canadian maple syrup industry is getting a little heated in Canada, with a new lawsuit alleging the industry is trying to prevent the sale of maple syrup to the public by blocking access to online marketplace websites.
Tommy’s Natural Foods filed a federal lawsuit against Canadian company Canopy Growth Corp., alleging it’s trying to block the sale and distribution of maple-sugar-infused drinks on its online marketplace, and that Canopy is trying “to prevent the availability of maple sap by imposing unreasonable restrictions.”
According to the lawsuit, Tommy’s claims that the lawsuit is not a legitimate challenge to Canopy’s business practices is “not accurate,” as the company is “a major player in Canada’s maple syrup market,” and that “the court is entitled to determine whether Tommy’s can reasonably claim the rights it has to make use of the marketplace to market its products, including, among other things, the ability to sell its products directly to consumers.”
Tommys Natural Foods has also sued Canadian beer maker MillerCoors, alleging it “is also seeking injunctive relief and other remedies against Canopy for infringing its trade secrets, patents, trade dress, and other intellectual property rights,” as it “may be able to obtain additional damages for the infringements of its rights” in the lawsuit.
MillerCoors has not responded to Quartz’s request for comment on the lawsuit but has previously said it would defend its intellectual property against the lawsuit from Tommy’s.
Tomie’s Natural Products has also filed a lawsuit against Canada’s federal government, alleging that the government is violating Canadian consumers’ rights with its anti-consumer regulations on maple syrup sales and the prohibition of online marketplace sales of the product.
Tomiet’s Natural products has also argued that Canadian consumers have the right to access online marketplace and online products, such as online pharmacies, without having to pay the high prices and high costs associated with traditional retail outlets.
Canadian consumers who want to purchase products from online pharmacies should contact Canopy directly to determine the availability and price of their product, according to the company.
TomTomiets Natural Products’ complaint alleges that Can’t Buy Canada is “actively pursuing litigation to stop the sale, distribution, and consumption of Tommy’s natural products to Canadians through its online pharmacy marketplace and to prevent consumers from obtaining their products through Canopy online pharmacy.”
The lawsuit asks for a court order to prevent Canopy from selling Tommy’s products to the Canadian public, but it has not asked for an injunction.