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State Considering Sanctions Against Medical Marijuana Producer for Marketing Campaign

Posted on in Marijuana

marijuana, cannabis, Illinois Drug Crimes AttorneyAfter nearly two years of bureaucratic delays and litigation over licensing, Illinois finally seems poised to get its medical marijuana pilot program off the ground. Throughout the summer, approved cultivation centers have been preparing their first legally-produced crops in anticipation of harvesting them and making them available to dispensaries as early as this month. A company planning to get into the cultivation business, however, may be in hot water with the state over an announced public outreach campaign.

Public Marketing

Cresco Labs, while looking to open cultivation centers in Joliet, Kankakee, and Lincoln, recently unveiled marketing plans designed to spread the message regarding medical marijuana in print ads, billboards, radio spots, social media, and health publication notices. The more visual advertisements feature the shape of Illinois prominently with healthy lifestyle images, along with messages like "Welcome to a state of relief." The company logo is also present along with a referral to Cresco’s website for more information.

Possible Violation

According to state officials, growers of medical cannabis are not permitted to publically advertise in the state. Dispensaries are permitted to advertise within compliance with certain regulations, including proximity to schools and more, but cultivating centers are prohibited from doing by the Department of Agriculture. Rob Sampson, Cresco’s president, however, claims that the outreach campaign is not about promoting his company’s products. "[It] is about educating patients and doctors that there are new forms of medical relief in Illinois and directing them to our website to use as a portal for applying," he said. Sampson insists that the $1 million effort is to promote the state’s entire program, and therefore, within the regulatory guidelines.

Department of Agriculture spokesperson Rebecca Clark acknowledged that officials are aware of the ads, have seen them, and are currently considering options regarding enforcement. "The department may assess monetary fines or other conditions for rule violations," she said in an email.

Legal Help for Marijuana-Related Concerns

While some 3,000 medical marijuana applicants await the harvesting of the first legally-available crops, criminal charges for illegal marijuana possession are still very possible in Illinois. If you are facing any type of drug charge, contact an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney. We will meet with you to discuss your case and explore all of your available options. Call 847-488-0889 to schedule your free initial consultation today.


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