Pot Dispensary Owner Jim Rice Needs Your Help to Return to Survivor

A Denver man — and marijuana dispensary owner — is eager for another chance to eat bugs, sleep in the dirt and engage in the primal challenges that come with competing on the CBS reality series Survivor. But he needs your help to get there.

Jim Rice is one of 32 hopefuls participating in a preliminary stage of Survivor: Second Chances — a version of the popular strategic reality show that allows former contestants another shot at winning the $1,000,000 grand prize. As announced late last night, there will be a two-week period during which viewers can vote for who should make the cut; Rice needs to finish in the top twenty to advance to Cambodia to take part in the show. The winners will be announced on May 20 — and if Rice survives this round, he'll be flown directly to the competition.

Rice was a contestant on Survivor: South Pacific in 2011, and we followed his progress on the show. He began strongly and made it past plenty of elimination rounds before being voted out in week ten.

Since moving to Denver twelve years ago, Rice has played professional poker, started a family and opened multiple cannabis dispensaries. As the owner of two High Level Health locations, he has been legally selling pot since 2009 and filmed his original audition video in front of multiple pounds of it. "I thought that would get their attention," he says. "I think it worked."

Although producers and fans were aware of Rice's occupation the first time around, his fellow cast members weren't. This time, his entrepreneurial ventures will be known by everyone involved, and he sees any stoner stereotypes thrust upon him as an opportunity to move up in the game.

"I think I'm gonna try to play that role up, because it sounds like a good character to be. It might lower some people's guard down around me," he says. "But I don't think it'll have a huge impact [on the voters]. I think people like to see good characters on the show, and when it comes to game play and creativity, I think that I'm one of the better characters."

Rice went home too early in his rookie season, he says, adding that he'd been in contact with the show's producers since that first try but was too busy with his family to make time for another  shot. Now that he feels comfortable with leaving for another month-long mission in the wild, he's ready to start building alliances and trying for immunity all over again. "The guys I'm competing against have played more recently than I have and probably have better abs than I do. But they don't come from a city as supportive as Denver," he says. "I think we care about our own much more than any state."
And he plans to create an incentive for you to do so: Soon anyone who shows proof of voting for Rice will get an eighth of flower for $25 at either of his dispensaries, and he'll continue to add more promotions on his Twitter account.

You can vote for Jim and learn more about the show here. Voting ends May 20.

Here's Rice with a much cleaner shave during his introduction in season 23:

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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for
Contact: Thomas Mitchell