Oakland’s Harborside Health Center is the nation’s largest medicinal cannabis dispensary.
Founder and executive director Steve DeAngelo has made twin missions of providing the best possible product to the patients who make up his client base, and educating the rest of the country about the regulation and taxation of those goods.
WEED WARS takes an up close and personal look at the reality of running a controversial medicinal cannabis business.
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Ep1. WORLD’S LARGEST MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY
Steve DeAngelo and his family run Harborside Health Center: the world’s largest and most successful medical marijuana dispensary. But when Oakland voters approve a 5% tax hike on all dispensaries, they effectively slap the DeAngelo brothers with a 1.2 million dollar tax bill – due in one week.
Steve dispatches his CFO Luigi to City Hall to try and fight the battle. If they lose their appeal, it could mean the end of their business. Harborside “budtender” Terryn begins growing weed to make ends meet. But when he learns the true demands of being a “patient-farmer”, he questions the direction of his life.
Ep2. FEDERAL CRACKDOWN
While in the midst of a federal tax audit, Harborside Health Center’s Steve DeAngelo learns that the IRS intends to apply 280E, an obscure tax code that will label the dispensary as a drug trafficking organization, effectively putting them out of business.
As Steve and his crew prepare to fight back, The U.S. Justice Department begins shutting down neighboring dispensaries. Could these two actions possibly be unrelated, or are the feds launching a coordinated attack against medical marijuana?
Steve’s brother Andrew provides a helping hand to the father of an epileptic child as he administers cannabis to his four-year old for the first time. Patient-farmer Jon struggles to save a harvest from a spider mite infestation.
Ep3. HARBORSIDE’S EMPLOYEE BETRAYAL
Even though Harborside Health Center is the largest and most successful medical cannabis dispensary on the planet, it’s still truly a family business. So when Steve DeAngelo leaves his Oakland dispensary for a much-needed two-week vacation, he entrusts day-to-day operations to the general manager – his younger brother Andrew.
But as soon as Steve’s plane lifts off, Andrew discovers an evil voodoo mask, slipping Yelp reviews, and complaints about Harborside’s “medicine”. Andrew tries everything in his power to right the ship before his brother’s return – but within hours, Andrew learns of a personal betrayal within Harborside’s ranks – one that will truly break his brother’s heart.
Ep4. HARBORSIDE’S ALTERNATIVE 4/20 CELEBRATION
April 20th, known within the cannabis community simply as “4/20”, has been the unofficial international marijuana holiday for over thirty years. It’s also Harborside Health Center’s busiest sales day of the year. As much as Steve DeAngelo loves 4/20 as a day of celebration and booming business, he fears that widespread images of tie-dyed hippies smoking six-foot joints ultimately damages the credibility of their “medical movement” with the public at large.
This year, only three days after 4/20, Harborside Health Center is launching “Deep Green”, a festival aimed at characterizing marijuana not as an intoxicant, but as an aid to wellness. Will their festival dramatically rebrand the public’s image of the plant, or simply attract the same old stoners?
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