Illinois Grower Spending $1M on Marketing Campaign

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One of the few licensed medical cannabis growers in Illinois is testing a statewide ban on advertising by throwing $1 million into a marketing campaign designed to bolster participation in the upcoming market.

Cresco Labs, which has licenses to operate three different MMJ cultivation centers, is planning to use billboards, print ads, radio commercials and social media in an all-out blitz to the public, according to the Chicago Tribune. The ads include Cresco’s logo and an addendum that more information can be found at the company’s website.

That’s despite a state law that reads, “Cultivation centers may not advertise through any public medium… designed to market (their) products to the public.”

Cresco officials, however, maintain that they’re trying to raise awareness about the entire state program, and not their products or company specifically, the Tribune reported. The company’s president told the paper that the ads are an “outreach campaign” that is “clearly within the state’s guidelines,” designed to increase awareness of the state’s program.

There’s good reason for Illinois companies to be concerned about the future of the program. Only about 3,000 patients have registered to purchase MMJ, and that likely won’t be enough to sustain businesses.

Still, some remain hopeful that the numbers will go up once the first cannabis is harvested and dispensaries begin to open their doors, which could happen as soon as this month.