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Kevin Smith’s ‘Hollyweed’ TV Show Isn’t Top-Shelf Marijuana Content

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Kevin Smith loves weed. This we know to be true. Continually mentioned in his films and podcasts, the man is a fan of the plant. It’s also, according to his doctor, “probably” the reason he survived a recent heart attack earlier this year. So of course he was going to make a TV show about it.

Described as “Clerks in a weed store”, Hollyweed stars Smith in a rare dialogue-rich role as Pete and former Chappelle’s Show actor Donnell Rawlings as Nipsy, as growers and dispensary operators. Their shop? LA Confidential Caregivers based in, you guessed it, Hollywood.

The show started production a few years ago but the pilot never found a home. Initially turned down by networks, most likely because Netflix’s marijuana show Disjointed was in production, the pilot is now being hosted at Rivit TV. A new platform for media makers, fans get to watch the pilot for free then bid on what they’d pay per episode for the whole season. They’re only charged if the show meets its goal by the deadline.

Unfortunately, that’s likely the most interesting thing about Hollyweed. The storyline is twisty enough to keep you watching, but the rolling-paper-thin plot just barely supports it. A few of the jokes warrant laughs even through the sometimes rigid delivery and pacing. But with movie and comic book references abounding, and Smith’s longtime collaborator Jason Mewes making an appearance (in a questionable portrayal of a person experiencing homelessness), it still has that Kevin Smith flavor.

The pilot starts with Nipsy and Pete in what looks like a flowering room arguing about the presence of dragons in Schindler’s List. Nipsy smokes a joint as Pete trims a plant right where it’s growing. Later, in the shop, a producer-type shouting obscenities at someone through his bluetooth earpiece (an almost-believable performance by Adam Brody) walks in and demands “the best stuff” he can get for a thick wad of bills. Sensing the chance to take advantage of this L.A. stereotype, Nipsy tells Pete to “go in the safe” to get “three ounces of Anal Destruction.” Minutes before, Pete tells one of their regulars (played by Ralph Garman wearing an eye-patch) that Anal Destruction is the dirt weed they’ve renamed so the “Saturday stoners” will buy it for the exotic nomenclature.

We follow Pete on a weed run to a movie set that is, unbeknownst to him, a porn shoot where he meets Brookline Mass, the star of the adult film, played by Frankie Shaw. It’s when Brookline and Pete smoke up together that things start to feel forced and kind of awkward. The rest of the story has some surprises and by the end we almost feel sorry for Pete.

The show has some fun with the cannabis industry; I’ll give it that. Renaming low quality bud so it appears attractive: funny, but most likely not based in reality. Nipsy smokes a few joints inside the dispensary throughout the episode. We get it—he likes to smoke. The three ounces he grabs for the delivery looks more like three slightly dirty freezer bags. Even this small detail was disappointing; I guess I expected more from a fellow consumer like Smith. They toss stems out into the dumpster behind the shop; a move that nearly shut down a dispensary in Alaska in real life. And “compassionate care” means feeding nearly-expired edibles to Rolo, the person living next to the dumpster played by Mewes. It’s not totally clear if these are riffs on industry stereotypes or a surreal, alternate universe.

It is clear, though, that Smith has never worked a day in a dispensary. But if you were the guy that made Clerks and Mallrats, would you?

Similar to, though far more palatable than, the poorly written and executed Disjointed, Hollyweed isn’t a show for people who are living in the cannabis industry every day. I’m not sure it’s for people who really enjoy marijuana, either. But it’s the show Kevin Smith wanted to make, and like Yoga Hosers and Tusk, he really doesn’t care what people think. He’s just happy to have made it.

And it’s not up to studio execs to greenlight the rest of the season. If the show reaches its goal of $5.3 million on Rivit TV before August 25, we’ll get to see what the future holds for Pete and LA Confidential Caregivers. Then consumers will decide for themselves if the quality is top shelf or Anal Destruction.

Photo courtesy of Rivit TV.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated Rivit TV was a crowdfunding platform. Fans do not donate money, but commit to paying a price per episode and are only charged if the series reaches its goal.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Chris Wallis is a filmmaker and content creator based in Oakland, California. Over the last six years, along with extensive work with the cannabis industry, he's helped international nonprofits, national advocacy groups and political campaigns tell their stories to hundreds of thousands of eyeballs across media. He watches a lot of TV and movies, often while consuming cannabis.

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Dave Chappelle Ate Magic Mushrooms Gifted By A Stranger, Joe Rogan Says

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Comedian Dave Chappelle recently rented out a movie theater at 1:00 AM and took psilocybin mushrooms that a stranger handed him.

That’s according to Joe Rogan, who also attended the private screening of Quentin Tarantino’s new film with Chappelle after the pair performed a stand-up show in Tacoma, Washington.

“I’m pretty sure he ate mushrooms from a fan the other day,” Rogan said on his podcast last week.

“We have a private screening of Once Upon a Time In Hollywood at one o’clock in morning. Dave is eating mushrooms that some fucking guy gave him in the crowd,” he said.

Rogan, no stranger to tripping, said he did not partake in the psychedelic festivities this time.

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” he joked.

That said, Chappelle did gift a bag of unlabeled cannabis edibles to Rogan, he said.

“I don’t know where the fuck they came from,” Rogan said. “They were in a bag.”

While Chappelle has incorporated marijuana and magic mushrooms in his comedy routines (like this 1998 bit where he also talked about taking shrooms he got from a stranger and then hallucinating during a haircut), he’s also seriously advocated for reforming cannabis policy.

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous, who ran for governor of Maryland in 2018 on a pro-legalization platform, credited Chappelle for first putting the idea or marijuana reform in his head.

The two had an “ongoing conversation about the history of marijuana enforcement—the way it was targeted at our community and Latino communities—and that just sort of opened my eyes,” Jealous told Marijuana Moment last year.

Whether Chappelle will go on to become a vocal advocate for psychedelics reform is yet to be seen.

South Park Seems To Take A Jab At Marijuana Company MedMen In Satirical Ad

Photo courtesy of YouTube/Joe Rogan Experience.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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Here Are The Top 20 Most And Least Marijuana-Friendly U.S. Colleges

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It’s back-to-school season, and as college students get ready to move into their dorms, some might be wondering about campus culture—including whether their school is marijuana friendly.

The Princeton Review is here to help. Besides ranking colleges overall each year, it also includes breakout sections offering ratings on a wide range of college features. For this year’s issue, the review guide looked at the top 20 universities where students use cannabis the most and least.

To compile the list, released earlier this week, Princeton Review asked 140,000 students at 385 schools a simple question: “How widely is marijuana used at your school?”

The results, for the most part, aren’t especially shocking. In general, marijuana is consumed most frequently at colleges located in states with looser cannabis laws, or more libertarian climates. Students are least likely to consume cannabis, according to the rankings, if they attend religious or military schools, or if the campuses are located in states with more restrictive cannabis policies.

Here are the most marijuana-friendly colleges: 

1. University of Vermont (Burlington, Vermont)

2. Pitzer College (Claremont, California)

3. University of Rhode Island (Kingston, Rhode Island)

4. Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut)

5. Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, New York)

6. Reed College (Portland, Oregon)

7. University of Maine (Orono, Maine)

8. Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, New York)

9. Marlboro College (Marlboro, Vermont)

10. University of California at Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, California)

11. Warren Wilson College (Asheville, North Carolina)

12. Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, New York)

13. State University of New York, Purchase College (Purchase, New York)

14. Champlain College (Burlington, Vermont)

15. Colorado College (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

16. University of Colorado at Boulder (Boulder, Colorado)

17. Ithaca College (Ithaca, New York)

18. University of Wisconsin at Madison (Madison, Wisconsin)

19. Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York)

20. Hamilton College (Clinton, New York)

Here are the least cannabis-friendly colleges:

1. United States Air Force Academy (USAF Academy, Colorado)

2. United States Military Academy (West Point, New York)

3. United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland)

4. College of the Ozarks (Point Lookout, Missouri)

5. Thomas Aquinas College (Santa Paula, California)

6. Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah)

7. Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois)

8. City University of New York, Baruch College (New York, New York)

9. Calvin University (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

10. Grove City College (Grove City, Pennsylvania)

11. City University of New York, Hunter College (New York, New York)

12. Baylor University (Waco, Texas)

13. Gordon College (Wenham, Massachusetts)

14. Hillsdale College (Hillsdale, Michigan)

15. Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, Illinois)

16. Stephens College (Columbia, Missouri)

17. University of Dallas (Irving, Texas)

18. Pepperdine University (Malibu, California)

19. Agnes Scott College (Decatur, Georgia)

20. Simmons University (Boston, Massachusetts)

Regardless of how much or little students at a given college consume marijuana, those who choose to partake could be at risk of losing the means by which they pay for their tuition. Drug convictions can lead to the loss of federal financial aid, which is why some lawmakers are pushing for legislation to protect such students from being denied access to education over a substance that is becoming legal in more and more places.

Young Americans Are More Likely To Smoke Marijuana Than Cigarettes, Poll Finds

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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More Than 150 Proposed SXSW Marijuana Panels Are Being Voted On For Next Year’s Festival

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More than 150 different marijuana-focused panels are up for consideration to be featured at next year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival and its related SWSW EDU event.

SXSW solicited the submissions last month, urging individuals to help them fill out the lineup for its “Cannabusiness Track.” The collection of panels are meant to explore the “technological, cultural, financial, legal and political ecosystems that are defining the cannabis-focused enterprises of both today and tomorrow.”

But not all of the suggested panels are going to make the cut. An online vote opened on Monday for people to support the proposals they want to see, and that voting period closes on August 23. Proposed discussions touch on everything from social equity in the industry to protecting intellectual property to setting CBD product safety standards.

Here are some examples of what could appear at SXSW next March:

Frenemies: Cannabis Activists & Cannabis Industry. Kris Krane, president of 4Front Ventures and former executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, explores the growing tension between the marijuana industry and activists, as debate intensifies over how to create a legal cannabis market that’s socially equitable.

Cannabis Restorative Justice. Members of the Last Prisoner Project, including Harborside co-founder Steve DeAngelo, discuss the long-term impacts of marijuana criminalization and their experience being incarcerated over cannabis. The panel will also touch on ways “the cannabis industry can work together to repair these past and continuing injustices.”

Is Cannabis Media Coverage Fair Or Biased? Journalists on the marijuana beat talk about the evolution in cannabis coverage and biases in how mainstream media outlets report on marijuana.

Cannabis As A Catalyst For Change. A panel of experts, including representatives from the Drug Policy Alliance, will seek to inform the audience about “policy positions they can support to ensure the cannabis industry is operating in a socially responsible manner,” ensuring diversity in marijuana businesses and how to invest in communities disproportionately impacted by prohibition.

IP Rights And Threats In The Cannabis Industry. Intellectual property attorney Larry Sandell will share his expertise on making sure that cannabis companies protect their innovations and branding. He will offer a “primer on utility patents, design patents, plant patents, trademarks, trade secrets, plant variety protection certificates, and copyrights—all from the cannabis perspective.”

Full Recovery: Mixing Cannabis With Sobriety. Medicine Box CEO Brian Chaplin will answer questions about incorporating marijuana into a “sober, mindful lifestyle,” drawing from his own experience using cannabis to wean off an anti-depressant.

The United States Of Cannabis. Experts at the Marijuana Policy Project will give the audience a status update on cannabis reform efforts throughout the country and offer perspective on how reform advances through ballot initiative and state legislatures. The panel will also provide a preview of how MPP plans to allocate resources to continue changing cannabis laws in the coming years.

Descheduling Cannabis: Be Careful What You Wish. Market analysts will dive into the debate over potential industry changes that could occur if marijuana is federally descheduled. Panelists will raise questions about how descheduling could lend to a market model that favors established corporations like Walmart over marijuana businesses.

Can The South Rise To End Pot Prohibition? This panel will take a look at obstacles that southern states have faced in legalizing and decriminalizing marijuana. Entrepreneurs from the region discuss what it will take for “the South to ultimately rise above prohibition” and answer questions about how to ensure that the industry that emerges will be inclusive.

Reporting On The Corporatization Of Psychedelics. Staff at the psychedelics publication DoubleBlind will explore the rapidly changing politics of psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA. Conversations will concern the potential corporatization of psychedelics and “accessibility of psychedelic medicine” today.

Cannabusiness In Africa: Is There A Future? As several African countries weigh getting into the cannabis export business, panelists will go over how the industry can be “developed responsibly and help support broad based economic growth in some of the world’s poorest countries.”

The Corporatization Of Marijuana. Panelists including former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) will talk about just how much the government—at the state and local level—should be regulating cannabis as well as concerns about underage consumption and impaired driving.

This isn’t the first time that SXSW has featured marijuana panels. This year’s SXSW festival involved more than 20 cannabis events, including discussions that covered female entrepreneurship in the cannabis market and the prospect of marijuana reform in Texas.

Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who joined the board of a major cannabis firm after leaving office, delivered a keynote address at one panel, which drew protests from social justice advocates who argued that restorative justice needs to be a critical component of legal cannabis systems that profit-minded “Big Marijuana” companies are currently benefiting from.

Young Americans Are More Likely To Smoke Marijuana Than Cigarettes, Poll Finds

Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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