News In Brief

Reality TV show to follow medical marijuana dispensary

Jennifer Collins Oct 7, 2011

Medical marijuana brings in as much as $1.3 billion in sales in California. And it may soon generate revenue for the entertainment industry.

Steve DeAngelo, executive director of Harborside Health Center, which may be the largest marijuana dispensary in the country, and his staff are starring in a reality series airing on the Discovery Channel. “Weed Wars” premiers in November.

Joshua Weinberg, the Discovery Channel’s vice president of communications, said the series will follow DeAngelo and the journey of the marijuana plant “from seed germination to harvesting.”

“When California voters passed the Compassionate Use Act in 1996, medicinal cannabis was legalized igniting a firestorm of controversy and providing an opening to a whole new kind of entrepreneur,” Weinberg wrote in an email. “At first blush ‘Weed Wars’ is a familiar story: A start-up business, demanding clients and the ever-looming possibility that it could all go belly up… But this is not exactly a typical business.”

Harborside serves more than 80,000 patients in Oakland and San Jose. A spokeswoman for Harborside, Gaynell Rogers, said film crews have been following the not-for-profit for about a year.

For coverage on big changes coming to the medical marijuana business — check out my radio story here.

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