Get ready to march, because the NYC Cannabis Parade returns for its 51st anniversary on May 4, 2024! One of the world’s longest-running cannabis legalization events, the Parade is a powerhouse full-day forum of advocacy with the cannabis community at its center.

(C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture

What Is The NYC Cannabis Parade?

Originally founded in 1973 as a smoke-in by the counterculture group the Yippies, the Parade has evolved over decades to mark New York’s changing relationship with the plant. In 2023, the City became the Parade’s official presenting partner for the first time, with Cannabis NYC Founding Director Dasheeda Dawson emceeing. It also included an inaugural float carrying City dignitaries and cannabis industry leaders down the Parade’s traditional route on Broadway, starting between 32nd and 33rd Streets and concluding at Union Square Park.

The same route will be used for 2024, but this season will be bigger than ever. Union Square will still host musical performances, educational tables, and speakers, but that’s just the start. Pioneering cannabis journalist Steve Bloom, founder of CelebStoner and Executive Board Member of the Parade, explains the event’s expansion – now with more floats! 

(C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture

What's New For The NYC Cannabis Parade In 2024?

“Last year Cannabis NYC’s float came down from Herald Square blasting hip hop with Shiest Bubz leading the way as Grand Marshal,” says Bloom. “This year we plan to have at least five floats, including one dedicated to the Yippies.”

“But how do you pivot post-legalization?” he adds. “The pivot is away from protest and toward celebration. We’re presenting a new cannabis economy in New York. The Cannabis Parade lets people learn about the positives.” 

Cannabis Parade Executive Board Member Steve Bloom and Cannabis NYC Founding Director Dasheeda Dawson at the 2023 Parade(C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture

Who's Performing At The NYC Cannabis Parade?

A great lineup of performers is slated for this year, with hip hop icon Havoc of Mobb Deep leading the pack. Internationally-renowned DJ Cat Ouellette, Brooklyn's award-winning all-female brass band Brass Queens, rapper DiggaDaHighsman, and Latin Jazz musician Raul Midón are on deck to elevate the crowd at Union Square.

Who's Sponsoring The NYC Cannabis Parade?

Honeysuckle is proud to join sponsors such as Cannabis NYC, the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo (CWCBExpo), Select, Ayrloom, The Travel Agency, Etain Health, Weedmaps, BudsFeed, Society House, Dazed, THC NYC, TribeTokes, The CannaDiva, Curved Papers, Smoke and Heroes Podcast, Prince Lobel Tye LLP, CelebStoner, and NYC NORML

dead prez performs in Union Square at the 2023 Parade & Rally (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture
Dasheeda Dawson presents a Mayoral Citation to the Board Members of the NYC Cannabis Parade (C) Cannabis Parade

Steve Bloom On The NYC Cannabis Parade's History, Event Structure, And Team

Bloom shared a few more insights about what we can look forward to for this landmark occasion.

HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE: What is the NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally’s historic significance? 

STEVE BLOOM: The Cannabis Parade and Smoke-In was founded in 1973 by the Yippies. [Other cannabis events] from the 70s that have continued for six decades are Hash Bash (Ann Arbor, Michigan), Harvest Fest (Madison, Wisconsin) and 4th of July Smoke-In (Washington, DC). The Yippies’ name stands for Youth International Party. The group was founded in 1967 by Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Anita Hoffman, Paul Krassner, Ed Sanders and others. Legalizing marijuana was one of their main issues. [Activist and Yippie member] Dana Beal eventually took over the Cannabis Parade and created the Global Marijuana March, which takes place in many countries in May.

How is the City of New York supporting the Cannabis Parade this year? 

We are producing the event in association with the City of New York, which is a big change for us. Cannabis NYC partnered with the Parade in 2023. The plan for 2024 and beyond is to increase the size of the Parade and turn Union Square Park, where we have our stage, into a festival and marketplace for many of New York’s legal cannabis companies.  

Senator Chuck Schumer addresses the crowd at the 2023 Cannabis Parade (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture
Dasheeda Dawson, Steve Bloom, dead prez, and Bazaar Royalle onstage in Union Square (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture

How is the structure of this year’s event different? 

The structure of the event hasn’t changed much. The march assembles at 11AM at 32nd Street in Herald Square, where we have a small stage for speeches. The floats and contingents leave at high noon and take a zig-zag route to 14th Street. The festival at the park runs from 1-5PM. There will be performers, speakers and panel discussions on stage and many tables and tents promoting sponsors and participating organizations and businesses in the plaza. For the last three years, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has been our lead speaker. Bands like dead prez and 420 Funk Mob entertain the crowd. We finish the day with an after-party at [Soho museum] The House of Cannabis.

Who organizes the Parade? Tell us about your team!

We have a great team. Troy Smit, who preceded me on the Board, has been with us the longest. I joined the team in 2018 to replace Doug Greene, who sadly passed away in 2019. Ice Dawson, sister of Dasheeda and Imani (who’s on the [national] NORML Board), joined the Parade team in 2021. Last year, David Holland replaced Noah Potter as our counsel. The team also includes Ryan Lepore, Kym Byrnes, Tanya Osborne, Leo Bridgewater and Ford4D. We also receive assistance from Stu Zakim, Michael O’Malley and, of course, Honeysuckle.

The 51st Annual NYC Cannabis Parade takes place on May 4, 2024! For more information, visit or follow @cannabisparade on Instagram.

*A version of this article originally appeared in Honeysuckle's 18th print edition. Get your copy now at dispensaries nationwide, or click here to order and choose your element - Fire with Bun B or Ice with Queen P!


Written By:

Jaime Lubin is Honeysuckle's Editor-At-Large. Her writing has appeared in HuffPost, Observer, Billboard and more. Also an actress and singer, she can be found on Twitter and Instagram.

@jaimelubin (IG)

@jaimelubin (Twitter)


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