WASHINGTON: This is the year that marijuana goes mainstream. Mass media is learning to love marijuana in a big way. You can’t attend a cannabis event in Seattle, or Denver, or Portland these days without bumping into a documentary film crew or budding filmmaker shopping a cannabis concept.
CableTV has been crazy about cannabis since Showtime debuted its seminal stoner series Weeds in 2005, earning the channel’s highest ratings. Similar successes followed for weed-themed “documentaries” from CNBC, VICE, and CNN. And then Sanjay Gupta opened the flood gates when he reversed his longtime opposition to medical marijuana and called for its immediate rescheduling. That pronouncement by the face of corporate medicine — CNN’s chief medical correspondent was once President Obama’s pick for Surgeon General — had a massive impact on national consciousness.
Today, it is common to see national magazines talking about cannabis. And not just Rolling Stone, but old school journals like Time, Newsweek, and National Geographic have devoted entire issues to our beloved plant. This is the golden age of marijuana, and cannabis types are polishing their acts and going Hollywood. High Times editor Rick Cusick recently joined up with Whoopi Goldberg in a commercial effort to create a pot-infused PMS products. Top professional athletes like former NBA All-Star “Uncle Spliffy” Cliff Robinson are joining longtime stoner celebrities Tommy Chong and Willie Nelson in creating their own line of legal cannabis products.
At the April meetup of the Marijuana Business Association in Portland last week, Cliff Robinson told the assembled group of professionals that he had received a huge amount of interest from both media and investors alike since his keynote speech at the Cannabis Collaborative Conference in February. The topic of sports cannabis and the power of sports celebrities will move the marijuana discussion even further into mainstream consciousness. Designer marijuana for athletes is attracting media attention from Spain, Germany, Italy and from around the globe, Uncle Spliffy’s Marc Belsher told MJNN. “Sports Cannabis is an international phenomenon,” he said.
Following Team Uncle Spliffy on stage in Portland was Kerri Accardi, a New York filmmaker whose AK Ventures is making history with a prime time television series, “Hmm Did You Know.” Designed to educate mass America on the healing benefits of medical marijuana, “Medical Cannabis: The Healing Power Of Knowledge” will be a half-hour news magazine series featuring prominent voices from the cannabis industry, including Nurse Heather Manus, activist/entrepreneur John Davis and Dr. Sunil Aggarwal, along with product placement and sponsorship messages. Initial markets will include Seattle, San Francisco, Miami and Denver, with new markets expected to be released shortly.
“We created the series to inform and educate mainstream TV viewers on cannabis, cannabis healing, and the emerging cannabis industry as a whole,” Accardi told MJNN. “We will featured various topics and interviews with patients and industry notables, topical discussions, politics, investigative journalism, health and sports medicine. We are creating herstory.”