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Recreational cannabis is officially legal in the Big Apple, opening up a world of opportunities for businesses looking to tap into this promising market. Whether you're an established cannabis venture or a budding start-up, you're probably buzzing with questions about everything from the legal landscape, licensing requirements, to the nuances of cannabis marketing in the city that never sleeps. Below, we provide a snapshot of the latest insights and answers relevant to NYC's cannabis market. Bear in mind, the dynamic nature of the cannabis industry means these regulations can change in a New York minute.


The Hood Collective, a premier cannabis marketing agency with a nationwide footprint, is bullish about the potential of New York City's cannabis industry. NYC isn't just another city—it's a global metropolis teeming with diversity and characterized by neighborhoods as distinct as the flavors of a cannabis strain. From the artistic hubs of Soho and Bushwick to the thriving cultural epicenter of Harlem, the potential to carve out your niche in the cannabis industry is unprecedented.


Leveraging our team's expertise in graphic design, photography, videography, and drone operations, we're prepared to guide your brand to success amidst this dynamic and competitive market. Our confidence isn't misplaced—the Governor's office projects that cannabis will fuel more than $1.25 billion in revenue over the next six years.


If you're a cannabis cultivator, dispensary, equipment or service provider, advocacy group, or events company, effective marketing and branding will be crucial as you navigate the uncharted waters of New York City's blooming cannabis sector. This is equally true for CBD and Hemp companies operating in the city or aiming to break into this vast customer base. The Hood Collective is ready to assist businesses of all sizes in creating captivating digital and print content, high-definition video, custom-made branding, packaging design, and standout product and event photography.


Contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation..


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On March 31, 2021, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) was enacted, legalizing the possession and use of recreational cannabis in NYC. Adults aged 21 and over can now legally possess up to 3 ounces of cannabis or 24 grams of concentrated cannabis. The law also permits home possession of up to 5 pounds of cannabis and the cultivation of three mature and three immature cannabis plants per person (with a maximum of twelve plants per household). Additionally, past criminal convictions for cannabis-related offenses have been expunged.


NYC has a storied history with marijuana, dating back to 1914 when the first restrictions were imposed, necessitating a prescription for use. The next several decades saw a gradual increase in cannabis farms until an order was issued in 1951 to eradicate the estimated 40,000 pounds of weed growing across the city's five boroughs. This era marked the rise of the 'gateway drug' theory, which led to more stringent cannabis laws, longer sentences, and increased fines.


In 1977, New York was among the first states to decriminalize cannabis, reducing possession charges for under 7/8 of an ounce to a $100 fine. However, a loophole allowed for continued arrests during the era of aggressive policing in the 90s. Medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 2014, leading to the signing of five contracts with cannabis growers, each allowed to operate four dispensaries.


As of this writing, the frameworks for producing and selling cannabis are yet to be finalized, with an estimated timeline of early 2023 for the commencement of recreational cannabis sales in NYC.


As NYC goes through the process of introducing its recreational cannabis market, there will undoubtedly be specific and possibly stricter marketing regulations introduced in the near future. For now, we can gain insights from the advertising regulations currently established under the state's medical marijuana program. As it stands, licensed medical cannabis operators are not permitted to advertise or promote cannabis for recreational use.


Existing cannabis advertising rules in New York can be found in Section 113.17 (Cannabis Marketing and Advertising) of the Medical Cannabis Program, as well as in Section 86 (Adult-use cannabis advertising and marketing) of the N.Y. Cannabis Law. Key prohibitions include:


  • False, deceptive, or misleading advertising

  • Promotion of overconsumption

  • Depicting consumption

  • Designing in any manner to appeal to children or minors

  • Placement within or readily observable within five hundred feet of a school, playground, childcare facility, public park, or library

  • Advertising in public transit vehicles and stations

  • Unsolicited internet pop-up ads

  • Advertising on publicly owned or operated property

  • Making medical claims or promoting adult-use cannabis for medical or wellness purposes

  • Offering discounts, coupons, or other means of selling adult-use cannabis products below market value, undermining local and state tax collections

  • Billboard advertising


Many of these restrictions align with The Hood Collective's recommended best practices for cannabis businesses in any location, particularly the first five guidelines.

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In the concrete jungle where dreams are made, The Hood Collective excels at crafting exceptional video and photographic content for the NYC cannabis, hemp, and CBD industries. With full recreational cannabis soon to be a reality, new businesses need to act swiftly to solidify their brand and construct their marketing strategies. This includes sourcing professional visual content that will make a splash in what will undoubtedly be an intensely crowded marketplace. Top-tier photography and video are among the best methods to establish and enhance your brand's identity.


Our range of photography services includes:


  • Cannabis Product Photography

  • Cannabis Flower Photography

  • Cannabis Macro Photography

  • Cannabis Farm, Greenhouse, and Indoor Facility Photography

  • Cannabis Event Photography

  • Cannabis Lifestyle Photography

  • Cannabis Drone Photography


Investing in video production can elevate your cannabis marketing efforts significantly. The Hood Collective has a comprehensive video team that manages every aspect of the video production process, from scriptwriting to editing. Equipped with cutting-edge gear, including cameras, lighting, and audio, we ensure your video assets are stunning across all platforms, from mobile phones to large-screen TVs. We also offer 2D and 3D animation and motion graphics services in-house, thereby saving you time and money on your projects. Our video services include scriptwriting, set design, location scouting, studio rentals, filming, hair and makeup, editing, and color correction.


Our team is equipped to produce the following types of cannabis videos:


  • Cannabis 'About Us' Videos

  • Cannabis Informative Videos

  • Customer Testimonials

  • Cannabis Event Videography

  • Cannabis Live Streams

  • Cannabis Animation

  • Cannabis SEO Videos

  • Cannabis Drone Videos


Having a deep understanding of the cannabis industry, our graphic design team at The Hood Collective knows what resonates with your target audience in NYC. We are well-versed in the particular aesthetic and sensibilities of the bustling neighborhoods from Manhattan to Brooklyn, and from the Bronx to Staten Island, to the cultural tapestry that is Queens. We're equally savvy about avoiding clichés and stereotypes that might be off-putting to your customers.


Our main goal is to ensure that your brand is current, engaging, and aligns with your vision for your company, whether you're targeting the bohemians of Greenwich Village, the trendsetters in SoHo, or the movers and shakers on Wall Street. By employing high-end, yet affordable graphic design packages that are suitable for print publishing, digital displays, website aesthetics, or social media platforms, we can set your brand apart in the vibrant landscape of NYC's cannabis market.


Our graphic design services encompass a wide array of needs, including:


  • Cannabis Logo Design

  • Packaging Design for Cannabis Products

  • Cannabis Business Cards and Stationery Design

  • Cannabis Website Design

  • Social Media Graphic Design for Cannabis Brands

  • Infographics for Cannabis Education

  • Cannabis Event Poster Design


The Hood Collective understands that the design elements of your cannabis brand play a vital role in shaping its perception among consumers. Our design experts are ready to help your cannabis business stand out in the dynamic, bustling NYC scene.


The Hood Collective is proud to offer our expertise in cannabis marketing across the vast expanse of New York City's five boroughs, catering to an extensive list of neighborhoods, boroughs, and suburbs. We've made a point of understanding the unique needs and characteristics of these diverse areas, ensuring that we're equipped to guide your cannabis business to success, no matter where in the city you choose to operate.

Here are just some of the neighborhoods we serve in the city's five boroughs:

•    Manhattan: Upper East Side
•    Manhattan: Greenwich Village
•    Manhattan: Lower East Side
•    Manhattan: Harlem
•    Manhattan: Financial District
•    Manhattan: SoHo
•    Brooklyn: Williamsburg
•    Brooklyn: DUMBO
•    Brooklyn: Park Slope
•    Brooklyn: Bed-Stuy
•    Brooklyn: Coney Island
•    The Bronx: South Bronx
•    The Bronx: Riverdale
•    The Bronx: Fordham
•    Queens: Astoria
•    Queens: Flushing
•    Queens: Long Island City
•    Staten Island: St. George
•    Staten Island: Tottenville
•    Staten Island: New Springville



Stepping into the New York City cannabis industry is an exciting venture. The immense potential of this market is matched only by its complexity and diversity. In such a challenging arena, partnering with an experienced and knowledgeable cannabis marketing agency can make all the difference.

Whether you're a grower in Astoria, a retailer in SoHo, or a distributor in Harlem, The Hood Collective stands ready to equip your business with the tools and strategies needed to make a substantial impact.

From stunning photography and videography to unique graphic design and comprehensive marketing campaigns, our services are designed to bring out the best in your brand. We are committed to helping you navigate the ever-evolving landscape of the cannabis industry in the Big Apple.

We invite you to take advantage of our expertise and passion in the cannabis industry. Join forces with The Hood Collective to propel your cannabis business to new heights in New York City's dynamic and burgeoning market.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let's cultivate success together in the NYC cannabis industry.

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Contact Us Today
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