Someday this will be a case study in business schools: the creation of a marijuana franchise starting with a lone store in a cute Victorian house on Main Street in Breckenridge. For viewers beyond Colorado, “High Profits” on CNN, an eight-part docu-series may seem an outrageous curiosity. For locals accustomed to media scrutiny of the state’s legalized recreational weed industry, it’s just one more reality TV effort, hyped for suspense.
The series premieres Sunday, April 19 at 8 p.m. MDT after Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s new marijuana special.
Brian Rogers and Caitlin McGuire the marijuana moguls who succeeded beyond their dreams by being early and betting on medical weed leading to recreational sales, come across as sincere, dedicated business people. Now in Steamboat Springs and Crested Butte as well as Breck (although exiled from Main Street), the business is booming.
Long lines outside the dispensary, piles and piles of cash inside, long shots of a vast grow house, local and national media tripping over each other to get the story, and town council debates about the propriety of marijuana in the tourist haven of Main Street…it’s all here.
Locals have followed the story for years, starting well before Jan. 1, 2014, and legal sales. Now it’s crafted into a suspenseful narrative by CNN with added silliness and humanizing elements — let’s watch a store manager get a tattoo! Let’s see BCC co-owner McGuire bond with her mother and Rogers at home with their dog…
The green rush continues. The upside potential for franchises is great, but there is equally great risk since weed remains illegal on the federal level. (See Forbes’ list of red flags for potential pot entrepreneurs.)
The Colorado weed story is obviously rich, and has been covered by all manner of news and documentary crews. But whether it’s deep enough to merit an extended series on the order of Anthony Bourdain’s smart “Parts Unknown” franchise for CNN is doubtful.