Marijuana USA: Does program mean CNBC stands for Cannabis News & Business Channel?

Maybe you think Westword has gone pot-crazy, but the national network CNBC isn't too far behind. After Marijuana Inc., its 2009 report on the nation's underground weed business, became CNBC's most successful-ever original documentary, the channel quickly produced a second investigation: Marijuana USA, an hour-long look at how pot is quickly moving out of the shadows. And, surprise, surprise, much of the show focuses on Colorado.

The documentary, which premiered last week and will re-air throughout the month of December on CNBC (check the schedule here), tracks the medical marijuana supply chain in Colorado, and many familiar faces pop up: pot politicos and entrepreneurs Scott Durrah and Wanda James of the Denver-based edibles company Simply Pure, medical marijuana doctor James Boland, politically active Boulder dispensary chain owner Jill Lamoureux-Leigh and incarcerated martyr-to-the-cause Chris Bartkowicz.

But the documentary, helmed by veteran CNBC anchor Trish Regan, does more than just recount Colorado's marijuana boom, a story that's become downright trite around these parts. The show compares the situation here with legalization efforts in California, massive secret pot grows in Kentucky and the brave new pot world of Portugal, where the state decriminalized all drugs in 2001.

Does Marijuana USA prove that, thanks to efforts in places like Colorado, marijuana is ready to go mainstream? Folks at CNBC certainly think so. After all, Regan is scheduled to have a new book out next April: Joint Ventures: Inside America's Almost Legal Marijuana Industry.

Here's a Colorado-centric clip from the program:

More from our Marijuana archive: "Top 25 marijuana stories in Colorado in 2010: The year in weed." Follow Joel Warner on Twitter @joelmwarner.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner

Latest Stories