New York Ad Campaign Targets Adult-Use Cannabis Users As State Prepares For Retail Launch

Gov. Kathy Hochul and state’s office of cannabis management launched its first ads on Monday addressing the new industry
Written by 
Chris Kudialis, CBD and Cannabis Reporter.
|Last Updated:

Retail cannabis sales in New York have yet to begin, but the state’s governor and marijuana regulators have gotten a head start on preparing users for the launch.

A series of billboard, TV and radio ads feature a variety of messages encouraging cannabis customers to avoid driving after using the plant, to smoke away from other people and to store their products where minors and children can’t access them.

Billboards that debuted Monday and were shared by the New York State Office of Cannabis Management include phrases enclosed in white text bubbles telling users “don’t drive high,” “be mindful of your smoke in public” and “it’s illegal to cross state lines with cannabis.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul and the OCM also unveiled TV ads — reminding the public that all customers must be 21 and over, mindful of where and how they use it and to never drive under the influence — as part of a state campaign called “Cannabis Conversations.”

“With the campaign, we’re following through on our commitment to provide New Yorkers with the information they need to safely navigate the new Cannabis Law,”  Hochul told the New York Post. “Education is the best tool to keep New Yorkers healthy as we continue to ramp up this safe, inclusive and equitable industry.”

The Empire State has struggled to launch its adult-use industry after the state legislature and then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo passed a bill in March 2021 to legalize the plant. State officials now say the first dispensary licenses could be issued this fall, and that cannabis stores could be up and running by the end of 2022.

New York’s industry gained national attention last month after regulators announced the first 100 to 200 cannabis licenses will go to nonprofits or businesses with a leader that has a previous low-level marijuana conviction. The state will also prioritize applicants with a parent, legal guardian, child or spouse convicted of a cannabis-related offense.

But when the licenses are finally issued, more than 400 towns and villages across the state won’t be participating. Among the top reasons for opting out, local officials said in a joint statement back in December that a lack of clarity in state law presents “significant challenges” for local industries to operate.

Chris Kudialis
Chris Kudialis
CBD and Cannabis Reporter
Chris Kudialis is the mainstream media’s authority on marijuana and CBD news coverage in Las Vegas. Chris began covering the beat as a reporter with the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2015, when cannabis had been medical-only for almost two years and the first dispensaries were just opening.

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