NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally, May 7th, 2022

The fiftieth marching of the NYC Cannabis Parade and Rally, last Saturday May 7th, from Herald Square to Union Square, was like an urban Woodstock without the mud. All the rain, though! It was amazing to see our elderly state leaders show up in the wind and rain to address the cannabis constituency. Cannabis people vote and are obviously a priority!

Keith Stroup, Founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, often says the movement is not only about marijuana, it’s about personal freedom. The NYC Cannabis Parade, originally called the Marijuana March, and the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision are about the same age, and rally speaker Amani Dawson, Executive Director of CEASE, drew a parallel between the two issues of personal freedom in a firey speech. It appears that the Democrats are wisely attempting to add federal legalization of marijuana to the list of issues that voters care about, now topped by the abortion issue. The emerging theme seems to be personal freedom under the law, one that, like the legalization of hemp and marijuana, as co-founder, with her brother Redman, of the National Cannabis Party, Sephida Artis-Mills pointed out in her remarks, “cuts across red and blue lines.” The hip-hop legend’s musical performance was also thwarted by the weather, but Redman’s speech was another highlight of what turned out to be a newsmaking day. “Let’s put the paint where it ain’t” he exhorted the enraptured crowd.

Nadler emphasized, “legalization of cannabis is not only about freedom, it’s also about justice.” He discussed how the Marihuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA), brings the hope of equity and fairness in establishing the new industry with a legacy to legal pipeline closer to reality than any state so far. “Equal access for all patients,” and an industry “done the right way,” added Artis-Mills.

Chris Alexander Cannabis, the Executive Director of New York State’s new Office of Cannabis Management said “New York will be the cannabis capital of the world.”

Schumer has apparently gone from conversations with 2 Republican Senators in April to 6 in May, Republican Senators who are considering support for the bill that passed the House. But it’s not clear he has all 50 Democrats in support. It will be interesting to see in the coming months which R’s do and which D’ don’t. In any case, Schumer’s enthusiasm made the financial papers, and solidifies marijauna as a national Fall election issue.

Among the many contingents that braved the storm were Curved Papers Bodega Bars™ Artists. Narp, Clover, Auraright EO, Blaq MX, Seannie Shine, Issie Dunn, Money Kennedy, and Titantime all performed their hits hip-hopping down Broadway, bringing a little music to the festivities early on. At the rally Steve “Jave Jel” Gelsi and The David Peel Band played acoustically. Only the Joint Cheefs, after hours of tech wizardry, managed to get a musical track playing through the sound system Chris had set up for the mic, and a phone and some crazy cables. The Joint Cheefs were clearly the musical highlight of the rally.

Another giant highlight was the giveaway of hundreds of beautiful joints, all rolled with love in Curved Papers, and served in a gorgeous commemorative NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally Doob Tube.

Although the Bodega Bars™ All-Stars Solo Jones, Sha Summers and Kwen Dizzy’s hotly anticipated appearance was also stymied by the lack of a sound system for the stage, the Bodega Bars™ artists in the parade marchers were happy they had brought the beat. Come see them all Sundays at 4:20pm EST on “Easy To Roll,” @CurvedPapers’ Sunday School for Rolling Joints on IG Live, where the rappers come visit regularly.

The Bodega Bars™ program is a community engagement program driving traffic to the hundreds of stores in New York carrying Curved Papers, a patented innovation by a New York company. You can find stores on the company’s FIND STORE page. If you’re not from New York, you can conveniently order a FOUR PACK on your phone for delivery to your door in the mail.

The after party at Astor Club @astorclubnyc by Tribetokes @tribetokes was the icing on the cake someone left out in the rain. Luminaries of generations past, present and future seemed to combine in a collected sigh of satisfaction that the show went on.

Among the next big cannabis events coming right up in New York are the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo, New York’s biggest cannabis show for nine years running and the NORML FORML. Each year NORML licensee Curved Papers kicks off the CWCBExpo with a setup day evening event, the NORML FORML. Tickets and sponsorships are available for the Wednesday June 1st event.

Parade organizers Celebstoner Steve Bloom, Noah Potter and Troy Smit had their hands full deciding up until the last minute whether or not to go forward. Everyone is so glad we did. We are looking forward to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the event next year in 2023. Hate to throw you a curve. Do the math. It like birthdays. LOL. The first one was in 1973 and included former Beatle John Lennon. His truth is marching on.

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