March 20, 2023


Five-Borough Tour Advances Efforts to Make New York City the #1 Global Hub for Industry Excellence in Equity and Education 

NEW YORK – The NYC Department of Small Business Services’ Cannabis NYC today announced upcoming dates in its Lift Off! Cannabis NYC Listening and Learning Tour, a five-borough tour providing communities with information, education, and conversation space to discuss the current state laws, citywide resources, initiatives, and opportunities to get involved in the multi-billion-dollar industry. 

Launched in the Bronx in February, the Lift Off! Tour continues to Manhattan and Brooklyn during National Poison Prevention Week, observed annually in the third week of March. Led by the NYC Administration for Children's Services (ACS) Office of Child Safety and Injury Prevention and NYC Poison Control Center, this year’s events will raise awareness of poisoning risks associated with unintentional consumption of cannabis-infused edible products, providing safe storage and consumption education, and distributing public health information regarding other chemicals, medications, and household products that are also associated with poisoning risk. Attendees will receive free storage boxes to keep products locked and out of reach of unintended consumers, including children. 

In partnership with NYC Housing Authority, Mayor’s Office of Equity, and NYC Sheriff’s Office, the Lift Off! tour aims to close the cannabis industry education gap particularly for communities disproportionately impacted by previous policies, and to listen and learn from community stakeholders about their needs and concerns related to the industry. Previous events in the tour have introduced Cannabis NYC’s overall mission, provided access to currently available community resources and services, and addressed the City’s enforcement strategy for unlicensed smoke shops.  

The Cannabis NYC tour is also supported by industry stakeholders including the NYS Office of Cannabis Management, the NYS Department of Labor’s Cannabis Workforce Development Initiative, NYC NORML, The Bronx Cannabis Hub, The Justus Foundation, CannaBronx, Social Equity Empowerment Network (SEEN), Latino Cannabis Association, and Cultivated Community Foundation.  

“This Administration continues to prioritize outreach to New Yorkers, bringing information and resources deep into historically underserved neighborhoods,” said Kevin D. Kim, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “This tour is delivering the facts about public health and economic opportunity in the cannabis industry, directly to the communities most impacted by prohibition. At SBS, we are dedicated to ensuring New York City leads the world in cannabis industry excellence, and that starts by engaging our communities throughout the five boroughs.”  

“Cannabis NYC is ready for lift off 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. “With this in mind, the Lift Off! tour is also a proud partner for the city’s 2023 National Poison Prevention Week activities because unintentional ingestion of cannabis products and potential injuries can be easily avoided with proper education and appropriate storage. Our community partnerships and ongoing interagency collaboration ensures we can strategically capitalize on the economic development opportunities of a legalized market while also protecting New Yorkers from any potential harm.” 

"New York City has the opportunity to build a model, equitable cannabis industry," said Mayor's Office of Equity Commissioner Sideya Sherman. "Through the Lift Off! Cannabis NYC tour, we're listening and learning from the communities most impacted by the prohibition of cannabis while providing essential public health education, industry knowledge, connections to the community resources and services needed to plan for success." 

“The Sheriff’s Office will continue to work collaboratively with the NYC Department of Small Business Services – Cannabis NYC to address and educate the public on current regulations for the cannabis industry,” said NYC Sheriff Anthony Miranda. "Compliance with the law, community safety and public health are mandatory requirements to developing a successful legal industry.” 

“Cannabis Workforce Initiative, a collaboration between Cornell ILR and the NY Workforce Development Institute, aims to inform and educate communities most impacted by cannabis prohibition about career opportunities in the New York cannabis industry by providing free education online and in person,” said Kayvon Reid, Cannabis Workforce Initiative Community Engagement Coordinator. “We are proud to partner with Cannabis NYC to deliver pertinent information and resources to New Yorkers. It's critically important to have these conversations live and in the community to ensure equity at every level.” 

"The JUSTÜS Foundation is a proud participant and supporter of the Lift Off! Cannabis NYC tour,” said Scheril Murray Powell, Chief Operating Officer of The JUSTÜS Foundation. “The leadership shown by Director Dawson in facilitating these events to date sets a tone for the level of community engagement we will see from New York City going forward and it is unprecedented. The 5-borough tour invites New Yorkers to learn accurate information about the cannabis industry as a restorative justice tool, an economic disparity equalizer, and a pathway to health and wellness." 

Lift Off! Listening and Learning Tour Dates 

All tour events are free and open to the public. Advanced registration is required. Tour locations will include NYCHA campus locations, local educational institutions, and other city-affiliated locations. 

Upcoming confirmed dates and locations for the Lift Off! tour include: 

  • Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 11 - 4 p.m. at NYC Harlem Hospital (506 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037) 
  • Saturday, March 25, 2023, 12 - 3 p.m. at NYCHA Seth Low Community Center (137 Belmont Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212) 
  • Wednesday, March 29, 2023, 1 - 4 p.m. at LIM College – Maxwell Hall (216 E. 45th Street, New York, NY 10017) 

Press should RSVP to and using this link

Additional City agencies supporting the Lift Off! Tour include the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Mayor's Office of Nightlife, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the NYC Police Department, and the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.   

About Cannabis NYC 

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. 

To stay connected, visit and sign up for updates here.

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.