The Colorado medical and recreational cannabis communities are put under the lens of reality television tonight.
Tonight, National Geographic Channel will air the first episode American Weed, the latest weed-themed reality TV show to hit the mainstream. See a preview below.
The first episode (and from what we can tell, most of the season) seems to focus on Budding Health owner Josh Stanley, who's listed as a Fort Collins dispensary owner. The show details his outdoor (outdoor?!) grow facility in the mountains and his role in the unsuccessful fight against the Fort Collins dispensary ban.
The series also gives some time to the law enforcement side of things. According to producers: "Sergeant Jim Gerhardt and fellow officers on the North Metro Task Force continue to find illegal grows by residents claiming to be growing medical marijuana. Is the pendulum swinging back to curb the ten-year proliferation of medical marijuana in Colorado?"
Though the plotline of the series seems to hinge on the ban in Fort Collins, the preview video National Georgraphic has released (see below) has quite a few clips of Denver and Boulder events like the 4/20 rally and the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup last April -- events that took place several months before the Fort Collins ban proposal was made public.
And that might be the biggest issue I have with the series. The footage and personalities might make compelling television for anyone outside of Colorado, but I'm wondering just how relevant (or accurate) it will be to those of us living here.
From what I can tell from dodging the NatGeo cameras at public events and hearings for the better part of last year, the channel sent production crews here for months to film anything and everything they could, hoping to find some sort of plot line to cull from the footage. People I've spoken with who participated in filming say they were under the impression that it was being made into a documentary and were somewhat surprised to see it became a television series. I'll watch it, but I am predicting that every episode produces a reaction similar to passing a car wreck on the freeway.
Without a doubt, the series is going to stir up some controversy among the Colorado cannabis community. We'll have a full recap of the first episode tomorrow morning.
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American Weed airs tonight at 8 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel. That's channel 273 for you Comcast digital subscribers and channel 186 for those of you with Dish Network. Here's the preview: