“Why You Should Buy Legal Cannabis in New York” will encourage New Yorkers to purchase safer, regulated cannabis products from licensed dispensaries.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the launch of Why Buy Legally in New York, a public education campaign to promote safer, informed and legal purchases of cannabis from licensed New York State dispensaries. The campaign focuses on three key pillars: protecting public health and promoting social equity and community reinvestment. Governor Hochul made the announcement at CUNY Law School in conjunction with the New York State Office of Cannabis Regulation. The “Why Buy Legal New York” bulletin explains and highlights the potential health risks associated with purchasing cannabis products from unlicensed businesses and why regulated cannabis products are safer. It also outlines how purchasing legal goods can support New York State communities in achieving New York’s social and economic equity goals.

“To enhance the public health and safety of all New Yorkers, we are providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions and enjoy cannabis responsibly,” Governor Hochul said. “As we continue to build a healthier and fairer cannabis market, I’m proud to launch this important public education campaign to promote safer and legal cannabis purchases from licensed dispensaries across the state.”

The primary digital campaign will target cannabis consumers 21 and older and include various educational materials such as the “Guide to Safely Consuming Cannabis.” These materials will provide information on how to find legal dispensaries in New York and tips on how to smoke marijuana safely. Materials are available at: https://cannabis.ny.gov/consumers.

English advertising pictures are available here and spanish here and English version of the PSA video are available here and spanish here. The PSA will appear on social media, streaming services, and in transit and location-based advertising throughout the Empire State.

April 20, commonly known as 4/20, has become a global phenomenon celebrating cannabis culture and its evolving legal landscape. Originally created as a protest against the criminalization of marijuana and the unequal enforcement of drug laws, the day now also marks a victory for advocates who have worked tirelessly to end cannabis prohibition. As the highly anticipated date approaches, it is critical to reinforce health and safety messages and remind New Yorkers to smoke marijuana responsibly. By launching the “Why Buy Legal New York” campaign on multiple platforms, including Instagram, Facebook and streaming services, New York State is making sure that as awareness about cannabis grows, these important messages reach as many people as possible people.

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

Chris Alexander, executive director of the New York State Office of Cannabis Regulation, said, “We want to make sure New Yorkers understand the potential risks and benefits of using marijuana. Our goal is to empower consumers to make informed decisions and ensure they have access to the safest product possible. New York has some incredible dispensaries in the state , I encourage cannabis consumers and anyone curious about cannas to visit these stores and see for themselves.”

Lyla Hunt, deputy director of public health and education campaigns, said “Our ‘Why Buy Legally in New York’ campaign is critical to educating New Yorkers on the importance of legally buying marijuana from licensed dispensaries. These PSAs are designed to counter the exaggerated and inaccurate myths many experienced during cannabis prohibition. Messages are starkly contrasting. By emphasizing the health and safety benefits of legal purchases, we hope to build trust in a regulated cannabis industry and encourage New Yorkers to make informed decisions about cannabis consumption. This campaign is also about addressing historical harms and promoting An opportunity for the community to reinvest while providing valuable information about the regulated cannabis space. We are excited to launch this campaign and believe it will make a significant difference to the lives of New Yorkers, support a safer and fairer cannabis industry, and promote New York State’s education-first approach.”

The following licensed cannabis operators are featured in the “Why Buy Legal NYC” event:

  • Jasmine and King are licensed growers focused on the community-centered and health properties of cannabis. Now, with over 10 years of family farming experience, they are harvesting hemp products for communities across the state.

  • Howard is a licensed processor focused on modern safety practices and education efforts to produce safer cannabis products for communities across the state

  • Damien is a licensed retailer focused on social justice reform and community reinvestment and brings over 5 years of business owner experience to new industries.

  • Eddie is a licensed processor who brings his experience from 5+ generations of family farms to produce safer cannabis products for communities across the state

“Why Buy Legit New York” Campaign Follows”Cannabis Dialogue“Governor Hochul launched a public education campaign in 2022.

New York’s marijuana laws put public health first. It builds on fundamental principles of public safety, social justice, and equitable economic development to compensate for the harm caused by cannabis prohibition. To support this policy shift, the law requires a public health education campaign to educate New Yorkers about the impact of the new legislation and the potential impact of cannabis use on public health and safety.

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