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Medical marijuana ad blitz going into effect

One of the state’s largest medical marijuana companies wants to make sure seriously ill Illinoisans consider the new drug.

Cresco Labs has created a huge, statewide media blitz promoting the state’s program.

There will be print and radio ads, billboards and a social media campaign, Cresco founder Charles Bachtell said. The billboards will be visible next week, he said.

The advertising blitz — costing the company “seven figures” — is meant to educate people about the program and “normalize” it, he said.

“This program here in Illinois is a true medical program,” Bachtell said.

One of the ads says: “Comfort is a cause we can all get behind. Medical Cannabis is here. And it’s not what you think.”

“Right now we need to make sure the people of Illinois are comfortable with the program” Bachtell said.

The state’s medical marijuana program has been in effect for about two years, but it’s finally getting off the ground.

As of last week, nine companies have been approved to grow the new drug. That includes one of Cresco’s three facilities, according to state records.

And four dispensaries are registered to begin selling medical marijuana.

But the program has seen delays and a low registered patient count. Earlier this month, state data showed just 3,000 patients had been approved to use the drug. Twelve children had also been approved.