CannaBiz: The Secret Economy of Marijuana
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CannaBiz opens in Grand Forks, BC, a small border town nestled in the Kootenay Mountains, where draft dodgers planted the first BC Bud in the 1960s. Most of the marijuana here, and in the rest of Canada, is destined for the US market, where a pound of premium weed sells for a street price of $4,500.
The film shows how Canada’s $20 billion-dollar marijuana industry is sitting at a violent crossroads between crime and commerce. Hence, the formerly laid-back marijuana growers today live in fear of armed thieves. Smugglers today take huge risks to cross the beefed up American border. Conflicted police and RCMP officers like Harland Venema continue to fight a seemingly futile battle.
The documentary highlights the fact that the cannabis industry is gaining public acceptance and is very vital to Canada’s national economy. So much so it cannot be ignored.
The film shows that in secret forest plots, basements, barns and high-tech underground bunkers, growers nurture some of the world’s most potent bud. After the pine beetle chewed through what was left of the forest industry, marijuana became the backbone of the local economy.
In Grand Forks, Brian Taylor, who was given the nickname of marijuana mayor, today supports and campaigns for medical marijuana as a prescription for economic prosperity.