Cresco Labs has developed a comprehensive advertising and marketing code with guiding principles to ensure that the company always markets and promotes its brands and products responsibly. 

As an industry leader, Cresco holds itself to the highest ethical standards and is dedicated to building a culture of responsible consumption and fostering continued consumer trust, education and confidence in cannabis offerings. This code provides guidance on commercial communications to prevent underage appeal and helps advertisers like Cresco make appropriate claims surrounding cannabis’ benefits. In addition, these standards offer best practices for the development of consumer-facing promotional events and merchandising.

The creation of Cresco Labs’ Responsible Advertising and Marketing Standards (RAMS) is another step that supports the company’s mission to normalize, professionalize and revolutionize the U.S. cannabis industry. Cresco’s intention for these standards is to encourage partnership with other cannabis companies around responsible marketing, professionalize the advertising practices within the industry and create a robust marketplace of quality products. Cresco Labs’ Responsible Advertising and Marketing Standards (RAMS) is available online.

“Since the company’s inception in 2013, we have been guided by a vision to bring a level of professionalism, ethics and hard-nosed business discipline to this emerging product category and industry, and it has been our mission ever since to normalize, professionalize and revolutionize cannabis,” said Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs’ CEO and co-founder. “That approach has guided us through seven years of incredible growth. As our house of branded products, retail brand and overall market reach grows, and cannabis becomes an important part of people’s everyday wellness, there is a need to advertise, market and communicate with the public. However, we must do so in a responsible and compliant manner that is disciplined, ethical and fact-based and upholds the high standards of conduct on which the company was founded. As we focus on building the most important cannabis company in the U.S., these standards will define how we conduct ourselves in our everyday marketing and advertising efforts, hold us accountable in all our work in this area, and hopefully serve as a north star for all other operators within our industry.”

Cannabis is currently legal for adult use in 11 states and medicinally in 33 states, with many more discussing some form of legalization. Legalization began less than 20 years ago, and now cannabis represents one of the fastest-growing consumer product categories in the U.S. 

At present, there are no federally issued regulations for the cannabis industry that typically exist in other emerging categories. Compliance to regulations is an entirely state-by-state exercise, and this holds true for standards for marketing and communications. Each state that has legalized medical or recreational cannabis often has its own unique requirements. 

Cresco Labs established RAMS as a complement to existing state regulations, and compliance with this code is mandatory for all its marketing, sales, promotion and communications efforts, including both traditional and digital media.

“We are fortunate to be able to work in an industry that impacts so many people, and with that great opportunity comes the responsibility to demonstrate best-practice leadership in the area of advertising and marketing,” said Greg Butler, chief commercial officer at Cresco Labs. “Similar industries to cannabis — alcohol, healthcare, pharmaceutical and food — have self-imposed, voluntary rules that are followed by some of the most iconic brand marketers in the world. As a leader in this industry, we want to lay the foundation for the U.S. cannabis industry, which today is demonstrating tremendous potential of where it will be in the next couple of years. As more cannabis operators build brands and introduce new products, these standards will help expand the quality of marketing from the industry and support the use of new advertising mediums and channels.”

Cresco Labs is deeply committed to creating positive change in the advertising and marketing of cannabis to consumers. The company encourages other cannabis organizations to adopt and build upon these guiding principles to help build a responsible cannabis industry together.

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