ILLINOIS CANNABIS MARKETING

In terms of legal cannabis, Illinois has been one of the leaders of the Midwest, with full recreational legalization occurring in 2020.  With Chicago, the third largest city in the United States, within its borders, Illinois represents a huge market for cannabis companies, and so there has been an explosion of interest from cannabis entrepreneurs and investors flocking to the state, dating back to 2013 when medical marijuana was legalized. As such, the competition among cannabis brands is naturally very fierce, and those companies that take their brand aesthetic seriously are most likely to succeed. With so much great cannabis being produced in the state, quality alone is not enough of a differentiator. This is where professional cannabis marketing comes in.

The Hood Collective, a full-service digital marketing agency focused exclusively on the cannabis industry, has a proven track record of success working with cannabis clients of all sizes. With legalization in the state, we are firmly committed to the Illinois cannabis market, and helping our clients stand out for all the right reasons. The truth is our passion for the region is personal, as two of our founders originate from the Midwest (one from Michigan, the other from Indiana). With an experienced team of graphic designers, videographers, photographers, and drone pilots, we have well-established expertise working with cannabis cultivators, advocates, dispensaries, CBD retailers, and event organizers. Your Illinois cannabis business will benefit greatly from our stellar digital and print content, high definition video, and attractive photography, all at a surprisingly affordable price point.

 

Contact us today to set up a free consultation.

 

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IS CANNABIS LEGAL IN ILLINOIS?

Illinois has a long history of legacy growers and activists who are passionate about the plant as medicine. But it wasn't until the last decade that these trailblazing pioneers could operate in the open without fear of repercussion. Although the state legislature passed the Cannabis Control Act in 1978, making it legal for patients to access medical marijuana, the agencies nominally in charge failed to act, leaving Illinois residents in a state of limbo and unable to get the treatment they needed. So it wasn't until 2013, when the General Assembly passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act that cannabis was not only permitted, but also available to patients with qualifying medical conditions. Even then, the program didn't go into effect until the Fall of 2014. Today, the Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Program has more than 143,000 qualifying patients enrolled.

With regards to recreational cannabis, Illinois because the eleventh state to make cannabis fully legal for adult use. Interestingly enough though, the state was the first one to do so via the state legislature, rather than as the result of a voter initiative. This development was the result of the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, which not only made possible the cultivation, sale, and consumption of cannabis, but also made it possible for over 700,000 residents to have their past marijuana-related convictions expunged from the record. Illinois was also the first state to include a social equity provision in their law.

Estimates project that when the industry reaches full maturing, state revenue could be as high as $4 billion a year. To date, retail sales in Illinois have averaged around $40 million a month since becoming legal. That's in addition to the revenue generated by medical sales dating back nearly a decade, which have nearly topped $800 million. The law also allows for Illinois medical patients to grow up to 5 plants at a time, although recreational users are not permitted to.

WHAT ARE THE CANNABIS MARKETING LAWS IN ILLINOIS?

Compared to many other states, Illinois is known for its lax advertising regulations when it comes to the marketing of cannabis products. Of course, there are rules in place that must be taken seriously, and it's essential that recreational and medical marijuana businesses in the state stay compliant at all times. At The Hood Collective, we recommend that are clients all have a full-time staff member whose job is to maintain compliance and keep up to date on the latest rules. Because every state has it's own laws and enforcement, and policies that are constantly being revised and updated, it's impossible for us to know all the rules for a particular location.

For Illinois, the state's advertising rules are laid out in the Rules For Administration Of The Compassionate Use Of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, and overseen by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The guidelines include the following prohibitions:

  • Advertisements cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school, park, library, or youth center.

  • Advertisements may not be placed on public transport vehicles.

  • Advertisements are disallowed on publicly owned property.

 

From what I can tell, there's not even a mention of prohibiting the targeting of minors, which is standard operating procedure in other states. It seems Illinois is relying upon federal laws (which still list cannabis as a Schedule I Drug) to regulate the local industry. Despite the lack of regulation, FCC policy still means that many forms of traditional advertising, such as radio and TV ads, are still off limits. Likewise, major online advertising platforms like Google and Facebook still prohibit, or extremely limit the marketing of cannabis products.

 

With so little guidance, we recommend that Illinois cannabis businesses still follow some pretty standard best practices in their marketing campaigns. Avoid depicting consumption in your content, and do not advertise in a manner that might be construed as targeting minors, including the use of animated characters or cartoons. These approaches may be permitted at the moment, but it's inevitable that stricter rules are on the horizon, and it's best to stay away from practices that could get your company in hot water in the future.

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ILLINOIS CANNABIS PHOTOGRAPHERS AND VIDEOGRAPHERS

Whether your company is based in Chicago or elsewhere in the state, the expert team of photographers and videographers at The Hood Collective is strongly committed to the Illinois cannabis industry.  We structure our services around making it easy for small- and medium-sized cannabis businesses to have access to premium marketing materials that will help you connect with customers and grow your business. Our photographers use advanced camera and lighting gear to provide eye-catching visuals for your website, marketing materials, and social media. We even have licensed drone pilots on staff. All of our photography packages are built in such a way that makes it easy for businesses to scale up as they grow and becomes more successful.

Photography services provided by our cannabis photography team include:

  • Cannabis Flower Photography

  • Cannabis Packaging Photography

  • Cannabis Indoor Facility Photography

  • Cannabis Headshots

  • Cannabis Event Photography

  • Cannabis Drone Photography

  • Cannabis Macro Photography

  • Cannabis Lifestyle Photography

  • Cannabis Model Photography

Video production has been central to what we do since The Hood Collective was first founded.  We make it easy for your business to have professional video content that will be the envy of your competitors. Our team is able to walk you through the entire filmmaking process, from scriptwriting and storyboarding to color correction and final post production. We film with professional-level production gear, including professional LED lighting, high-definition cameras, and crisp, clean audio. We even have an in-house animation team, meaning your videos will feature top shelf motion graphics and title designs. Most importantly, we work with all of our clients to maximize the value of their video content and ensure they get the highest possible return on their investment.

 

Our video production professionals offer the following types of cannabis videos:

  • Cannabis About Us Videos

  • Cannabis Promos

  • Cannabis Informative Videos

  • Cannabis Q&A Videos

  • Cannabis Product Reviews And Tutorials

  • Cannabis Web Series

  • Customer Testimonials

  • Cannabis Event Videography

  • Cannabis Live Streaming

  • Cannabis Animation

  • Cannabis Aerial Videos

ILLINOIS CANNABIS GRAPHIC DESIGN

The Hood Collective offers best-in-industry graphic design and branding services. Whether you need help with your initial logo conception and the establishment of your brand identity, or are looking to spruce up your presence on social media, our creative team will amaze you with high quality results at unbelievable prices. When a market is growing as fast as it is in Illinois, your cannabis business can't afford to leave your graphic design to amateurs. Working with the The Hood Collective means you'll receive premium graphic design for your print publishing, digital marketing, and social media.

Our professional graphic design team offers the following graphic design services:

  • Cannabis Logo Design

  • Cannabis Style Guides

  • Cannabis Packaging Design

  • Cannabis Motion Graphics

  • Cannabis 3D Design

  • Cannabis Marketing Materials

  • Cannabis Business Card Design

WHERE WE OPERATE IN THE ILLINOIS CANNABIS MARKET

The Hood Collective began on the West Coast, but our roots extend back to the Midwest. Our services available no matter your location, including the following municipalities and regions:

  • Chicago, Illinois

  • Champaign, Illinois

  • Peoria, Illinois

  • Evanston, Illinois

  • Rockford, Illinois

  • Naperville, Illinois

  • Joliet, Illinois

  • Carbondale, Illinois

  • Elgin, Illinois

  • Bloomington, Illinois

  • Aurora, Illinois

  • Urbana, Illinois

Don't see your city listed? Don't hesitate to reach out anyway. We're able to travel anywhere our customers in Illinois need us.

WHY HIRE THE HOOD COLLECTIVE FOR YOUR ILLINOIS CANNABIS MARKETING

The Hood Collective is 100% committed to the success of Illinois cannabis businesses. From our inception, we've cultivated a deep relationship with the growers, advocates, medical patients, and entrepreneurs who leaders in the industry. This means we are in a unique position to understand the needs of our clients and provide them the level of quality and service they need to thrive. We also make it a priority to craft long term partnerships with our customers, rather than looking to make one big score and move on. We are a growing marketing agency that is strongly committed to supporting growing companies in the Illinois cannabis market. Whether you need professional video, photography, graphic design, drone, or audio content, we can help.

 

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.