Marijuana company’s $1M ad campaign draws Illinois scrutiny

CHICAGO (AP) — An advertising campaign aimed at potential medical marijuana patients has drawn scrutiny from Illinois regulators.

Chicago-based Cresco Labs announced the campaign Wednesday, a month after the state said just 3,000 patients have been granted medical marijuana cards. That’s far fewer than industry investors hoped.

Cresco plans advertising in print and on radio, social media and billboards. The company holds permits for cultivation facilities in Joliet, Kankakee and Lincoln.

Illinois Department of Agriculture regulations prohibit cultivation centers from marketing products to the public. Spokeswoman Rebecca Clark says the department “is examining this advertisement and evaluating enforcement options (and) may assess monetary fines or other conditions for rule violations.”

Cresco President Rob Sampson says the campaign is aimed only at creating awareness about the program and “is clearly within the state’s guidelines.”