The speaker lineup for the annual celebration also features Rep. Jerry Nadler, rapper Redman, Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright, and other cannabis leaders.

The 49th annual NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally will celebrate one year of legalization in New York State on May 7 with a lineup of speakers and performers including The Blues Brothers, Redman, Rep. Jerry Nadler and Cannabis Control Board Chair Tremaine Wright.

The event that dates back to the early 1970s begins with a rally in Herald Square (32nd St. and Broadway). As speakers address the crowd, contingents assemble. The Parade leaves at 12:30 pm and heads south to Union Square Park.

From 1-5 pm, speakers and musical acts will address and entertain the crowd in the Park’s South Plaza. The lineup also includes Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, David Bronner (Dr. Bronner’s), Chenae Bullock (Shinnecock Nation), Steve DeAngelo (Justus Foundation), Ethan Nadelmann (Psychoactive), Leo Bridgewater (Bridge H20), Vlad Bautista (Happy Munkey), Dasheeda Dawson (The Weedhead), Ed Rosenthal (The Guru of Ganja), Tanya Osborne (Women Grow) and Joy Beckerman (Hemp Ace).

A special Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Richard Gottfried, the longest serving member of the New York State Assembly, who’s retiring at the end of this year. Assembly Member Gottfried led the cannabis charge in Albany that resulted in decriminalization in 1977, an early medical program in 1980 and the foundation of the current medical cannabis program in 2014, and worked with his colleagues to pass the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) in 2021.

“He’s a true visionary and leader of drug policy reform,” says organizer Troy Smit about Gottfried, who last spoke at the Rally in 2018. “He worked tirelessly to pass medical and adult-use legalization bills. We thank him for his unrelenting efforts.”

Nadler, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, introduced the MORE Act, which recently passed in the House for the second time. The MORE Act would de-schedule cannabis and end prohibition on the federal level.

Former Assembly Member Wright chairs the recently formed Cannabis Control Board, which is tasked with regulating cannabis in New York State.

The Blues Brothers are celebrating their 40th anniversary. Jim Belushi, who owns Belushi’s Farm in Oregon, and Dan Aykroyd will be backed by a band led by Uptown Horns’ saxophonist Crispin Cioe.

Redman returns to the Union Square stage where’s he’s performed in the past. The New Jersey based rapper is co-founder of the National Cannabis Party.

More speakers will be announced shortly.

Last year, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Attorney General Letitia James were among the speakers.

“Now that legalization has happened in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the floodgates have opened,” says organizer Steve Bloom. “Everyone wants to speak at our event.”

The NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally is the flagship event for Global Marijuana March events that take place all over the world, this year from April 20 (4/20 is the stoner holiday) to May 7.

The event is sponsored by Etain Health, CWCBExpo, Women Grow, On the Revel, Kreaky Products, NYC Cannabis Industry Association, Hudson Valley Cannabis Industry Association, and Honeysuckle and Northeast Leaf magazines.

Sponsors will be on site with info tables along with nonprofit groups NYC NORML, Empire State NORML, SSDP, National Cannabis Party, Decriminalize Nature and NY Small Farma.

Press Contact:

Stu Zakim

Bridge Strategic Communications