Film and TV

Weeds finale imagines marijuana stores owned by Starbucks: Colorado's future?

Last night marked the finale of Showtime's Weeds, a series about cannabis selling that's sparked love and hate among local tokers. (Recall its satire of the Colorado pot industry and one character's recent claim that marijuana isn't medical.) Expect a similarly wide range of responses to a prediction in the wrap-up that weed will be legalized and commercialized into a biz coveted by Starbucks.

The last ep leaped forward in time; the number of years isn't specified, but protagonist Nancy Botwin's son Stevie, who'd been around six years old when last seen, is readying for his Bar Mitzvah. For her part, Nancy (played by Mary-Louise Parker) owns a chain of fifty marijuana shops.

This operation was largely financed by money provided in an under-the-table manner by a representative of the tobacco industry, who earlier in the season bankrolled Nancy's grower-son Silas (Hunter Parrish). Early on, however, Mr. Tobacco calls Nancy to reveal that the company's just received a huge acquisition offer -- from Starbucks, whose interior design was clearly the inspiration for the Botwin shops.

At first, Nancy rejects this idea -- but after a stressful series of family exchanges, she ultimately decides to sell, setting into motion a presumed future in which marijuana-infused beverages are sold in Tall, Grande and Venti sizes.

A funny notion? Sure, but what's the likelihood of it happening? Hard to say. Current polling shows Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, leading among likely voters. But even if it passes -- and it's premature to make any predictions at this point -- a business model for recreational users will take years to sort out even without interference from the federal government, which certainly seems like a strong possibility at this point.

In other words, don't sink a lot of money into franchising plans quite yet. But don't laugh off the Weeds vision of tomorrow, either.

Here's a clip from earlier in the final episode.

More from our Television & Film archive: "Weeds satirizes CO medical marijuana scene, suggests parents smoke pot before kids concerts."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts