New Yorkers will soon be able to spark a blunt to celebrate.
The state became the 15th in the U.S. to legalize cannabis, and while many home growers were already flouting existing law, licensed businesses couldn’t. That’s going to change, quickly, as money pours into the industry from investors and distributors looking to get a taste.
More than that, “the regulations will go a long way to decriminalizing possession of marijuana which has disproportionately affected Black and Hispanic populations (previous convictions will be expunged), and New York will also give out loans, grants and launch incubator programs to encourage startups from minority communities,” writes Ad Age’s Ilyse Liffreing. Thus far, the beneficiaries of legalization have been predominantly white.
Many agency folks will now be able to leverage their talents to promote weed brands (assuming their shops let them), and agencies that have already worked on cannabis awareness or campaigns in other states should be able to pivot quickly. Expect a big jump in advertising as brands jostle for name recognition in a huge market whose loyalties are up for grabs.
Regulations still need to be written, but cannabis brands are used to navigating a patchwork of laws that vary from state to state. There is also solid infrastructure in place from the CBD boom that can be converted to THC distribution relatively easily.