We hit the streets to see what New York City is smoking in 2022, plus how real New Yorkers feel about legalization and the Leafly app


After ringing the NASDAQ bell to celebrate 420 last month, Leafly hit the streets of New York City to see what The Big Apple is smoking. We asked New Yorkers what they really think about cannabis legalization on the East Coast, what strains they love, and how they use the Leafly app to learn more about what they’re smoking.

From the financial district to Washington Square Park, we found tons of love for Leafly’s strain database as the city celebrated its final 420 under prohibition with a bang.

1. She takes notes on strains from Leafly

What are you smoking right now?

“I think Mob Boss is gonna be a favorite of mine. It’s a sativa-dominant hybrid, very cerebral. But a lot of medical consumers use it for quick relief of muscle tension, which is something I think is really interesting. Mood relief, appetite stimulation, keeps you energetic, talkative, happy: All this info got from Leafly.”

“Leafly is super informative. I like that it has all the effects of weed. A really cool thing about weed is if you know what you’re smoking, you can help what you’re trying to help. Or you can just enjoy being high and relaxed. I like that Leafly has those top effects (and) negative effects for people. Like if you’re aware that, ‘Okay, I do tend to get a little paranoid when smoking, so maybe I’ll avoid this one,’ it’s a really great resource.”

2. He ‘g-checks’ his dealers using the Leafly app

New York man says he uses the Leafly app to
New York man says he uses the Leafly app to “g-check” dealers who claim they have Zaza, but don’t. (Jon Bain / Leafly)

Are you familiar with the Leafly app?

“So me and my oldest bro, we’ve been smoking weed together probably since like fourth grade. And Leafly was the first website we used. Cause we be g-checking (dealers) in the city. (They) say they have ‘Za shit.’ So you gotta type in what they say on Leafly. If that shit don’t come up in Leafly, I’m popping on him. Dead ass, bro.”

“Leafly is a great resource to just educate yourself more on the cannabis and know what you’re smoking. A lot of people out here on the East Coast, they just cop some (weed) and they be satisfied with what a (dealer) gives them. They don’t tell them the names. They don’t even know. But if you (use) Leafly, you’re gonna have a more thorough info session. You’ll be a real certified smoker. Have some smoker’s etiquette. So do your studying, do your homework.”

3. She says legal weed in NY was ‘a long time coming’

New York woman shows pre-rolls when asked
New York woman shows pre-roll collection when asked “What are you smoking?” (Jon Bain / Leafly)

How do you feel about legalization in New York?

“I love it. And it it’s really a long time coming. Definitely a long time coming and I’m glad it’s here. And the fact that we can smoke on the street is phenomenal. I love that aspect of our law here. So I’m really psyched… I use Leafly a lot when I wanna know about a strain. I definitely look you guys up… I had so many things that I was smoking on (today). Let’s see if I remember. I had a flower and rosin. If I remember correctly, this is Purple Haze. And these, these little guys (pre-rolls) are Zkittlez. The last of my Zkittles.”

4. He loves that he can smoke while on the clock

How do you feel about legalization in New York?

“Man, I’m grateful. I spent all of high school running, ducking from truancy. Everybody was trying to stop me from smoking. But we here now, I’m an adult. I can do what I want.”

“I feel I’m free. I’m on the clock, we chilling! It’s a beautiful time. And it’s 420 today? I don’t even know. Wow. Happy 420!”

5. They say the illicit market will always thrive

How do you feel about legalization in New York?

“Legalization is great and all, but the black market will always thrive,” said our friend in red after rolling up some RS11 (aka Rainbow Sherbert #11).

“I think he’s absolutely right,” said his buddy in blue. “At the same time, legalization affords us the luxury to do things like bring crazy ass bongs outside the house and smoke them on the street, which I honestly fucking love as well, because before I could not bring this anywhere with me, you feel me? Now, I can smoke this shit in front of the arch in Washington Square Park!”

6. He’s smoking original Gorilla Glue

New York man says he and co-workers had lives changed by petty marijuana charges. (Jon Bain / Leafly)
“Right now I’m actually smoking on some Gorilla Glue. It’s not GG 12, the original. But it is some good ass Gorilla Glue, so shoutout to hop NYC. They’re providing free spliffs in Washington Square Park for 420.” (Jon Bain / Leafly)

What do you think of legalization in New York?

“It’s about time. A lot of my peers, a lot of my coworkers, we all got misdemeanors for getting locked up for smoking weed… I (saw) that it said Leafly on this mic, and I was like, ‘Yo, before anybody knew what, what Zaza was, we was all checking on Leafly to see if the strain existed. That’s facts.”

“Leafly was one of the first to (show us) what the hybrid does, what the percentage of the THC should be, the coloration of the weed. And you have some of the best pictures… I used to go to my budman like, ‘What is this?’ Check right on Leafly, then look at it. ‘OK, It matches up, I can buy this.’”

7. They’re happy they can smoke in public

New Yorkers celebrate April 20, 2022, by smoking in Washington Square Park. (Jon Bain / Leafly)
New Yorkers celebrate April 20, 2022, by smoking in Washington Square Park. (Jon Bain / Leafly)

What do you think of legalization in New York?

“I love it. It’s a fucking amazing, let’s do it. We’ve been waiting for this,” said our friend on the far right, who was smoking on Doja Exclusive buds.

“It’s been incredible,” said the man in white, who shouted out Darwin Farms products as well as Doja. “Legalization is a long time coming. Many years, a lot of people got in trouble for it, but it’s time to legalize it. It’s definitely a step in the right direction,” he added.

“Hey, I’m from New Jersey, but I’m happy about it all.” admitted the man pictured on the far left, who was repping Talking Terps products, a brand founded by Flatbush Zombie’s Jewice, Hope Lord and PTA Haiti 3000.”

8. He smokes to relieve NYC-induced stress

New York man says weed helps him cope with stress. (Jon Bain / Leafly)
New York man says weed helps him cope with stress. (Jon Bain / Leafly)

How do you feel about legalization in New York?

“It should have been like this a long time ago. It’s too much fucking pressure over here in New York. Too much stress. We needed this shit. Like right now, I’m stress free. I’m at work, work is going slow, but I ain’t bitching. Why? ‘Cause I got my damn blunt.”

9. He says the medical program has big problems

New York medical cannabis patient says state program needs to improve. (Jon Bain / Leafly)
New York medical cannabis patient says state program needs to improve. (Jon Bain / Leafly)

How do you feel about legalization in New York?

“They need to do better. They need to lower the prices of the ganja, and put it on Medicaid. I’ve been a medical marijuana licensed patient since 2018, and they’re charging me to buy the weed, so Medicaid needs to (add) marijuana.”

10. After 35 weed arrests, he wants social equity

What do you think of legalization in New York?

“As long social equity is involved and the people that created this whole movement, which is us, the pioneers, and we don’t be taken advantage of by the big companies, like, you know, Big Pharma and you know, bigger companies that have the actual equity and money that push us out.

“In New York, in New Jersey are gonna be the flagship states to push out social equity. So if it don’t work here, it ain’t gonna work nowhere.”

Related

New Jersey’s recreational weed stores open to long lines, cheering customers

“We’re gonna give them the opportunity to make it right for the people that have really been arrested. I’ve been arrested 35 times. We gotta make sure the legalization is pushed for the ones that (were) affected through the War on Drugs, the ones that (were) arrested, shook down.

“I’m buying packs for $40. I used to sell that, but they stopped me. So I could have been a major company by now.”

“I’m straight from Brooklyn, and we are advocating for all social equity. If it’s not social equity, it’s not gonna happen. That’s for everybody that’s dealing with marijuana.

“We gotta stand up for social equity. That’s gonna protect us where we don’t have to pay for the license, they’re gonna pay for us. Imagine if everybody that got locked up in New York state just sue the sate. We could bankrupt the whole state.”

11. His brand is taking over NYC

We were lucky to catch the team behind Doja Exclusive brands, which kept popping up when we asked New Yorkers what strains they were smoking.

From what we heard downtown, Doja could soon become one of the hottest homegrown bud brands in New York, along with GUMBO, a collaboration between Harlem’s own Luka Brazi, and Runtz’ founder Yung LB’s Joke’s Up umbrella with confidential genetics.

What do you think of legalization in New York?

“I think it’s just finally a beautiful thing that it’s like, it’s actually gonna be that’s gonna happen. Look, how many people out here! Like there’s only a few people from California. Everybody else is from the East Coast, man. Like we got DC out here. People from VA, the DMV. We got people from Florida. We got people up from Massachusetts. So I just think that it’s a beautiful thing.”

“I think it’s a beautiful thing. I’m gonna be honest with you. The market for cannabis has always been out here in New York and New Jersey. I mean, you got great cannabis films that can document that. You got Half Baked by Dave Chappelle to represent New York. Then you also have Jay and Silent Bob as an example of the New Jersey scene.

Look out for more New York cannabis coverage on Leafly, including videos from Day 1 in The Big Apple.

Mikhail Harrison's Bio Image

Mikhail Harrison

Trinidad-born, New Jersey-raised content producer Mikhail Harrison has been a cannabis advocate and influencer for over a decade, working both on camera and behind the scenes to normalize the plant for all.

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