With legalization, cannabis officially became a mainstay in our lives. The newly burgeoning cannabis culture comes with not only funky products and medical salves but also with cinematic adventures. As our interest grows and legalization becomes more ubiquitous, a new class of film has emerged: the cannabis documentary.
Documentary makers are taking time to document the interesting growth and changes that have come with marijuana legalization. In an effort to educate and inspire, these documentaries include information that touches all aspects of marijuana’s influence on our lives: from politics, health, economy, to even gang-affiliated content. This new method for cannabis education and awareness is actually a perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon, consuming your favorite flower while learning about it.
What’s even better? Many of these docs have a Canadian focus, and we at Calm Collectiv couldn’t be happier. Check out this list of our favorite documentaries around Canadian weed that cover everything you need to know about marijuana.
Meet Nate Norman. A seemingly normal Idaho teenager, Norman is anything but! Indeed, he is an enterprising teen who runs a drug smuggling business his group of stoner friends bringing in illegal cannabis from Canada into Idaho.
Hearing that just north of the border, Canadian weed was the best weed, he sets off to capitalize on this. “I was this high school dropout, but I ran a disciplined, US$68-million a year business,” Norman shares in the trailer.
As you can expect, things don’t always remain peachy. Join along on the journey that ends up escalating into violence and Norman ends up in a not-so-great space, in the documentary, and in real life. Tune in and watch how Norman navigates through the ins and outs of the illegal cannabis market in Idaho, which is still illegal for recreational and medicinal cannabis use. Fun fact: Idaho is the only remaining state that does not have any laws recognizing the medicinal properties and values of cannabis.
Get an intimate look at Glenn, a man who is an equal parts businessman, family man, and pot dealer living in Toronto. This funny and hilarious portrait of the life of a man who experiences a crash and burn following the Canadian weed legalization. While the rest of the world celebrates the pro-cannabis movement, Glenn is working tooth and nail to avoid it. Follow his trials and tribulations in this fun documentary that outlines both the impacts of legalization on already existing dealers and watch as Glenn works tooth and nail to help stop the impending vote for legalization.
In 2019, just as Canada goes to vote, only one party remains a hold out on legalizing weed – the Conservative party. Glenn, in an effort to avoid legalization and the subsequent disruption on his cash flow and illegal business, goes as far as driving people around on a bus get them to their local polling stations – where they can vote Conservative and effectively quash impending pro-cannabis regulations.
See what happens and learn more about how existing businesses and those in the industry were affected by the widely celebrated legalization. Check out Doobious Business on Amazon Prime.
A way back playback, from 2007, this Canadian documentary explores both the growth and distribution of the underground, illegal marijuana market in Canada. Packed with stars like Tommy Chong, Joe Rogan, and Lester Grinspoon, you’ll walk away from this film with a better understanding of what are some of the deeper-rooted social and personal preconceptions that people have around Cannabis.
Go on a journey through BC’s illegal marijuana trade many years before legalization and learn why it was once dubbed as ‘The Union.’ An industry that brought in upwards of $7 billion annually, and with nearly 85% of ‘BC Bud’ being illegally exported to the United States in 2007, this was an issue that was bigger than Canada and ultimately an international one that touches every part of our lives. Told through the eyes of growers, police officers, criminologists, economists, doctors, politicians, and pop culture icons, this documentary sheds light on experiences, insights, and questions that still exist today, post-legalization.
This is a must-watch, despite its age – it won Best Canadian Documentary from the National Film Board in 2007.
Need a great follow up after the classic, The Union? Well, you’re in luck! Following his success with The Union, Vancouver director, Brett Harvey, directed The Culture High. A great watch, the Culture High maps out the story of marijuana use and the illegal black market across North America in 2014.
Packed with more star power than the last, The Culture High follows the ups and downs of cannabis culture, use and the black market of Canadian weed. of trials and tribulations of marijuana use and the black market in North America. Before making The Culture High, Harvey made The Union: The Business of Getting High, which won Best Canadian Documentary from the National Film Board in 2007.
The Culture High also features Snoop Dogg, Joe Rogan, Richard Branson and Wiz Khalifa. “It’s not rational or logical, it’s financial,” Snoop Dogg says of the crackdown on cannabis in the trailer. There’s lots of discussion and debate on the War on Drugs, criminalization and perception of the media and politicians concerning weed.
Looking for something a little more long-form? While not technically a movie or a doc, this 7-part docu-series takes an intimate look at the life of Bob Kay, budtender and owner of Kelowna, B.C.’s medical marijuana dispensary, BeKind, in the months before pre-legalization in Canada.
In seven parts, you learn of Kay’s journey through the process, as he struggles with the laws of operating before the rules and regulations had changed. Bud Empire goes deeper into what it takes to sell weed in Canada during a time when selling or growing marijuana could cost a person their livelihood and result in jail time. The perfect watch for a lazy Sunday afternoon, check out Bud Empire today on Amazon Prime.
Want to keep up to date on what’s happening in the world of cannabis? Make sure to check back to our blog for more interesting pieces around cannabis culture, budtending and all things CBD.