May 3, 2023 


Cannabis NYC gives the NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally a much-needed lift from the city to celebrate 50 years of cannabis advocacy 

Rally concert is headlined by Dead Prez, also celebrating 50 years of Hip Hop 

NEW YORK – The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) and the NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally (NYCCPR) announced a new partnership to celebrate cannabis legalization in New York State, marking the first time that the City will join the historic parade and rally taking place on May 6. Cannabis NYC launched in August 2022 as part of SBS. 

Originally known as a "Smoke-In", NYCCPR was founded by the Youth International Party (Yippies) in 1973. Fifty years later, the NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally is the flagship event for global marijuana march events that take place all over the world, from April 20 (the high holiday) to May 6.  

The parade begins at Greeley Square (33rd St. and Broadway). As speakers address the crowd, contingents will assemble at 11 a.m. on Broadway and at noon, the parade’s route will travel south to Union Square Park. In addition to hundreds of participants, this year’s historic parade will feature a Cannabis NYC float and SBS "Mobie," a mobile office unit providing connections to the City’s free business and workforce development services. Shiest Bubz, a legendary cannabis operator who co-founded the historic lifestyle brand The Smoker’s Club, has been named Grand Marshal for this year’s 50th Anniversary parade. 

Starting at 1 p.m., speakers and performers will address and entertain the crowd in the Park’s South Plaza. This year’s line-up includes hip hop pioneers M1 and Umi of Dead Prez and Ghetto Metal Entertainment’s Bazaar Royale, along with government officials, educational leaders, and community advocates.  

"Cannabis NYC is on a mission to build an inclusive, equitable, and safe industry in New York City, and strong community engagement with priority outreach to historically marginalized communities will be a foundation of our success," said Dasheeda Dawson, Founding Director of Cannabis NYC. "We are proud to be partnering with NYCCPR for the first time, during a seminal moment in the city’s cannabis history. Our community partnerships and ongoing interagency collaboration ensure we can strategically capitalize on the restorative justice and economic development opportunities of a legalized market."

"This is a big year for the Parade & Rally," said NYCCPR board member Steve Bloom. "With legalization finally happening in New York, it’s time for us to pivot to more of a celebration. We’re very excited to be working with Dasheeda and Cannabis NYC." 

"NYC is planting the seeds to grow a safe and equitable cannabis industry," said Commissioner Sideya Sherman, NYC Mayor’s Office of Equity. "We are excited to join Cannabis NYC and NYCCPR to celebrate this important milestone and spread awareness about opportunities on the horizon. Together we will ensure the economic benefits of this dynamic industry are shared by all." 

"It’s an honor to return to New York City’s Cannabis Parade & Rally to celebrate the longest running cannabis legalization advocacy event in the world," said Chris Alexander, Executive Director of NYS Office of Cannabis Management. "So much has changed over the last 50 years, much of it over the last decade as I’ve been attending this march and speaking as an advocate. Legalization was once a dream. I am proud to have been a small part of making it possible for this year’s participants to not only legally consume cannabis but to be able to legally purchase safer cannabis from licensed adult-use dispensaries for the first time. There is still so much work to do globally to repair the harm that has been done by cannabis prohibition, but New York will continue the hard work of setting the example of what an equitable cannabis market can look like." 

"Union Square Travel Agency: A Cannabis Store is proud to participate in and support the 50th anniversary of the NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally," said Paul Yao, CEO of Union Square Travel Agency. "What better evidence of the impact the parade has had on the city’s culture than seeing the NYC Department of Small Business Services and Mayor Eric Adams' administration embrace our community and what we represent. Congrats to Cannabis NYC and all involved." 

The event’s partners also include the New York State Office of Cannabis Management, Union Square Travel Agency, Pax Labs, Etain Health, CWCBExpo, Women Grow, The Cannadiva Collective, TCC Media, Prince Lobel Tye LLP, Curved Papers, Smoke and Heroes Podcast, HoneySuckle Media, and CelebStoner. 

About NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally (NYCCPR) 

Founded in 1973 by the Youth International Party (Yippies) that included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Dana Beal, NYCCPR is among a handful of legacy advocacy events established in the 1970’s to protest the United States’ unjust cannabis laws that remain active today. Over the years the event evolved into a march and rally held annually on the first Saturday in May. From Washington Square Park to Battery Park to the current home in Union Square Park, NYCCPR has moved all over the City. Influential elected officials like Sen. Chuck Schumer regularly speak and hip-hop stars like Redman and Immortal Technique have graced the stage. 

About Cannabis NYC(CNYC) 

The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) launched Cannabis NYC to make our city the global leader for cannabis industry excellence in education and equity across business, science, and culture, and is reaching this goal by actively creating an interagency hub of free resources and services for all New Yorkers interested in the cannabis industry. 

Through strategic outreach, public engagement, business services, and advocacy efforts, Cannabis NYC will support the creation of good jobs, successful small businesses, and sustainable economic opportunity to address historic harms of past cannabis prohibition. 

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About the Department of Small Business Services (SBS)  

SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, visit, call 311, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Press Contacts: 

Joseph Jourdan; (SBS) 
Steve Zakim; (NYCCPR)