New York Governor Launches Campaign Urging Consumers To Buy Legal Weed

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has launched a campaign encouraging consumers to purchase weed from the state’s regulated market, just in time for the 4/20 high holiday.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday launched a new statewide campaign to encourage consumers to purchase cannabis from the state’s regulated recreational marijuana market. New York legalized adult-use cannabis in 2021, and regulated sales of recreational marijuana began at the state’s first licensed dispensary in Manhattan in late December 2022.

“To bolster the public health and safety of all New Yorkers, we are providing them with information they need to make informed decisions and enjoy cannabis responsibly,” Hochul said in a statement from the governor’s office. “As we continue to build a healthier and more equitable cannabis market, I am proud to launch this important public education campaign to promote safer, legal purchases of cannabis from licensed dispensaries throughout our state.”

Campaign Launched In Time For 4/20

The new campaign, dubbed “Why Buy Legal New York,” came as the state’s limited number of adult-use cannabis retailers prepared for the legal industry’s first 4/20, the high holiday of weed culture. The initiative focuses on three points including protecting public health, promoting social equity and community reinvestments, and features licensed cannabis operators extolling the virtues of regulated marijuana businesses and their products.

“We are excited to launch this campaign to promote safe and legal purchases of cannabis in New York,” said Tremaine Wright, chairwoman of the New York Cannabis Control Board. “By supporting licensed dispensaries, consumers can be confident that they are getting safe and accurately labeled products while supporting their local communities.”

The mostly digital campaign will attempt to explain the potential risks associated with cannabis from the unregulated market, which does not require products to be lab tested for safety and potency. The ads in the campaign will also highlight how purchasing cannabis from the regulated market supports the state’s social and economic goals for communities across the state of New York. The initiative, which is targeted at cannabis consumers 21 years old, includes educational materials including “The Guide to Safer Cannabis Consumption” and information on how to find legal dispensaries in New York. The campaign’s materials and safe consumption tips are also available online.

“We want to make sure that New Yorkers are informed about the potential risks and benefits of using cannabis,” said Chris Alexander, executive director of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management. “Our goal is to empower consumers to make informed decisions and to ensure they have access to the safest products available. New York has some incredible dispensaries across the state, and I encourage cannabis consumers and the canna-curious to visit these shops and see for themselves.”

PSAs Feature Licensed Cannabis Operators

The Why Buy Legal New York campaign features licensed cannabis operators including Jasmine and King, cultivators focused on the community-centered and wellness properties of cannabis. Howard is a licensed processor focused on modern safety practices and education efforts to produce safer cannabis products, while Damien is a licensed retailer focused on social justice reform and community reinvestment, bringing over five years of experience as a business owner to New York’s regulated cannabis industry. And Eddie, another licensed processor, incorporates his experience from more than five generations of family farming to produce safer cannabis products for the regulated market.

Lyla Hunt, deputy director of public health and education campaigns, said that the Why Buy Legal New York initiative is “critical to educating New Yorkers about the importance of purchasing cannabis legally from licensed dispensaries.”

“These PSAs are designed to offer a striking contrast to the exaggerations and incorrect messaging so many experienced during the prohibition of cannabis. By emphasizing the health and safety benefits of buying legally, we hope to build trust in the regulated cannabis industry and encourage New Yorkers to make informed decisions regarding cannabis consumption,” added Hunt. “This campaign is also an opportunity to address historical harms and promote community reinvestment while providing valuable information about the regulated cannabis space. We are excited to launch this campaign and believe it will make a significant difference in the lives of New Yorkers, supporting a safer and more equitable cannabis industry for all and furthering New York State’s education first approach.”

  1. I agree , the THC at the shops is way off. I’ve been smoking for 41 years. Grow my own alls have always will . Ty

  2. Yeah, safe, lmao! Have you been in a big grow facility (usually owned by a big pharma company)? Have you seen the chemicals they pour into their ‘safe’ products? All for the sake of bigger yields. Genetics can provide great yields but the pot snobs EXPECT a huge variety so they need to do so with lower yielding genetics to keep people coming into the dispensary. Then, not only are they poisoning people, they’re taxing the tar out of them to do so. They are literally going the same route as big tobacco. before long, pre-roll joints are going to be reconstituted cannabis greased up with synthetic delta 9. Mark my words. It’s disturbing what the industry will do to make money.

  3. Upstate, there are no licensed dispensaries because of a stupid lawsuit brought by a big producer trying to horn in on the market. So, tell us, Madam Governor, are we really supposed to drive the 350 miles to a regulated shop and pay outrageous prices for weed that is not as potent as advertised?
    This is why the black market is still going strong. Always will be.

  4. To the above whiners.
    You all can take your risks buying black market from someone who’s probably also selling fentanyl and heroin and possibly cross contaminating products. I’ll keep going to the dispensaries. I’ve had both and dispensary weed is way better. You don’t need to know the the content. You can tell by smoking it or ingesting it which is better. You guys trying to say otherwise are either A: burnt out stoners who puffed for so long and so frequently that you can’t get high anymore or B : you ARE the black market fks trying to spread bs like fertilizer so more people will stick to your backyard garbage…

  5. Dispensary weed is trash, 3 times the price, and tastes like crap. Come to the mountains if you want good good that’s 1/3 the price or cheaper. Anyone who buys from a dispensary is obviously out of touch with the market, and or just not to smart.

  6. I have a med card so this doesn’t affect me, BUT how stupid is our governor to start this program when the roll-out of legal cannabis has been a clusterf@#&? Central NY doesn’t even have a legal recreational dispensary ( not including the reservations).

    OH WAIT! Might this have something to do with our states unpassed budget? And legal pot sales will bring in revenue for the state?? Hmm. Guess she should have thought about this before she made such a difficult program for licensing and roll-out.

  7. I live in Adirondacks & all counties north of Albany are blocking dispensaries in our area, where are we to buy it??? this seems bogus because 99% of ny people have NO access to legal weed despite all the legalization & rec weed. I grow now, safest way to get my meds.

  8. please give us a way to contact this Governor who is so clueless about the actual state of affairs in NYS. I will write & point out obvious facts. thanks.

  9. The only dispensary near me is the Seneca Nation Dispensary. Does that count? I brought my friend there because he wanted to go see a weed store being from out of state. 50 to 70 dollars per 1/8 oz. which translates to $35 per joint. Every one smelled like lemons for some reason though. I can confirm being a long time cannabis consumer that there is more moldy weed today than ever before. Buyers beware of the Bubba. I threw out half the weed. I am all for supporting local stores and farmers but not if they don’t know how to grow mold free weed. I had to throw out weed I bought with money I had to work hard to earn.. Learn to grow your own! Your health is more important. If you are suffering from chest pain its probably the moldy weed you are smoking. Invest in a microscope. The mold I find is inside the bud when you crack the bud open. Its white strands visible to the human eye. Not all molds are able to be seen with the human eye is what I learned. and there are 1000’s of different strains of mold More of the bigger buds have it the worst.
    once in a while you get some that you don’t see the mold but I bet its still there. It wasn’t enough that the guy that runs these places rake in on table rentals, door fees. seed sales, raffle tickets they also gotta steal peoples hard earned cash giving them his ditch weed in trade. Maybe if the family would have offered up some free food instead of using the profits to hire pretty girls to distract the boys from the ditch weed. I love pretty girls but I would rather have free food. Stop giving your hard earned cash to peeps that pass off shwag as dank. Be safe everyone! stay positive and make your own decision and do your own research. Don’t take my word for it find out for yourself.

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