Cole Schotz: Third Party Advertising Gets the Green Light in NY’s Adult-Use Market

On April 4, 2024, New York Supreme Court Justice Kevin Bryant struck down the state’s ban on third-party cannabis marketing. This amended decision comes on the tails of an original holding by the court that invalidated all eight sections of New York’s cannabis regulations. While in effect, the marketing ban prevented cannabis retailers from advertising their merchandise on “third-party platforms,” which are digital sites that list and provide information on retailers’ products. Dispensaries enter into contractual relationships with these platforms to promote their businesses. Without the ability to advertise on such platforms, this ban would have prevented operators’ from reaching new customers through third-party advertising and impeded e-commerce platforms (such as Leafly Holdings, Inc.) from entering the New York market and directing consumers to licensed operators instead of illicit shops — something desperately needed within the New York market.

In September 2023, Leafly Holdings, Inc. (“Leafly”), a third-party platform, and Stage One Cannabis, LLC, an adult-use retailer, sued the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (“OCM”) and the Office of the New York State Attorney General, arguing that the ban unconstitutionally restricted their right to free speech. Justice Bryant agreed, finding that the OCM failed to establish a factual basis for adopting the marketing ban.

What does this mean for New York cannabis operators? While it’s difficult to say exactly how the market will respond overtime, this decision will inevitably allow more third-party e-commerce companies to expand into the New York market. Another effect of this decision is that consumers will now have more access to information about legal dispensaries which will allow them to make informed purchasing decisions.

While the OCM stated that it is reviewing the decision and exploring its legal options, Leafly has stated that it is optimistic that the decision will allow legal operators to establish a healthy and stabilized adult-use market.

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Matt Maurer – Minden Gross
Jeff Hergot – Wildboer Dellelce LLP

Costa Rica
Tim Morales – The Cannabis Industry Association Costa Rica

Elvin Rodríguez Fabilena


Julie Godard
Carl L Rowley -Thompson Coburn LLP

Jerry Chesler – Chesler Consulting

Ian Stewart – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Otis Felder – Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP
Lance Rogers – Greenspoon Marder – San Diego
Jessica McElfresh -McElfresh Law – San Diego
Tracy Gallegos – Partner – Fox Rothschild

Adam Detsky – Knight Nicastro
Dave Rodman – Dave Rodman Law Group
Peter Fendel – CMR Real Estate Network
Nate Reed – CMR Real Estate Network

Matthew Ginder – Greenspoon Marder
David C. Kotler – Cohen Kotler

William Bogot – Fox Rothschild

Valerio Romano, Attorney – VGR Law Firm, PC

Neal Gidvani – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder
Phillip Silvestri – Snr Assoc: Greenspoon Marder

Tracy Gallegos – Associate Fox Rothschild

New Jersey

Matthew G. Miller – MG Miller Intellectual Property Law LLC
Daniel T. McKillop – Scarinci Hollenbeck, LLC

New York
Gregory J. Ryan, Esq. Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Tim Nolen Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Paul Loney & Kristie Cromwell – Loney Law Group
William Stewart – Half Baked Labs

Andrew B. Sacks – Managing Partner Sacks Weston Diamond
William Roark – Principal Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin
Joshua Horn – Partner Fox Rothschild

Washington DC
Teddy Eynon – Partner Fox Rothschild