Cultivation company works its way into Chicago Marathon

Need more proof that the general business community and the public have become more accepting of marijuana?

Bank of America allowed Illinois-based medical cannabis cultivation company Cresco Labs to sponsor the Chicago Marathon last weekend, and nary an eyebrow was raised.

The roughly 45,000 athletes who participated in the race received bags with a Cresco insert titled “State of Relief.” Illinois prohibits cannabis companies from marketing their products to the general public, so Cresco’s insert highlighted the state’s MMJ program and the use of marijuana as a medical treatment.

Cresco’s Chicago Marathon sponsorship is part of a $1 million marketing campaign the company announced last month that will include print and radio advertising, billboards, and social media outreach.

Interestingly, Bank of America – one of the largest financial institutions in the country – is based in North Carolina, which has not yet legalized medical cannabis.

Marijuana companies have worked their way into various mainstream events in recent years. Last year, for instance, Chicago’s Thanksgiving Day Parade included a float sponsored by Good Intentions, an Illinois medical marijuana clinic.

The acceptance of cannabis marketing still faces hurdles, however. In July, a Denver TV station yanked a commercial for a company that sells cannabis oil and vaporizers the day before it was to air, citing legal concerns.