Cannabis has a starring role in these recent films

cannabis documentaries

Cannabis has long been a part of culture, from music to film. The plant has nabbed the starring role in a few major motion pictures in the last few months. One brand even released a product in tandem with a movie launch. Documentary, indie film, or blockbuster: the plant has been making an appearance.

American Pot Story: Oaksterdam

The documentary starring the founders of Oaksterdam, the first cannabis cultivation education center, had a screening in New York City last weekend. It debuted at the Slamdance Film Festival, where American Pot Story: Oaksterdam won the Audience Award.

RELATED: Master the craft of picking the perfect cannabis strain

Dan Katzir and Ravit Markus followed Oaksterdam founders Dale Sky Jones and Richard Lee alongside fellow activists over ten years. In that time, the group built the nonprofit education center into what it is today. They also worked to get Proposition 19 on the ballot in 2010. Despite a long list of famous opponents, the initiative lost by only seven percent.

American Pot Story is a story of resilience, depicting a group of Bay Area activists who fought for decades to see the future we’re living in. Cannabis isn’t just a subject of this one, it’s the star.


Top-billed Quincy Isaiah and Producer Adam Edery returned to their shared alma mater, Kalamazoo College, to screen their new indie film Grassland. The feature centers on social justice in cannabis as it tells the story of a young boy who puts his mother’s cannabis business in danger after befriending his neighbors.

The pair held a discussion about social justice efforts in the entertainment industry. Edery shared with the students that his passion for this work started at the college.

“I was an anthropology-sociology major, and even before I had anything to do with film, I wanted to go into social justice and activism,” Edery shared. “A lot of the early projects that I produced were comedy-based or random opportunities. There was nothing that felt like, ‘Wow, this is the type of story I want to tell.’ And then I read the script for Grassland. It was like a light flipped on in my head. The passion to do this project was inspired by my coming to K.”

Grassland doesn’t have a villain. Instead, it’s a vehicle for every person to find themselves in each character. This indie drama continues the conversation, centering those still incarcerated or on parole for nonviolent cannabis offenses while others cash out on the plant.

RELATED: Cleaning bongs keeps glass pristine, but what about the planet?

Sisters Interrupted

Two sisters share a chronic disease, but because of the legality of cannabis, are given different treatments. U.K. sisters Tamsin and Chelsea are at the center of Sisters Interrupted, a documentary screened at the Raindance Festival in the fall.
The documentary takes off by introducing Tamsin, who is autistic and has epilepsy. According to the film, her seizures are severe, damaging the brain and making it more susceptible to follow-up events. The pair are buddies, and Chelsea is convinced that Tamsin’s prescribed anticonvulsants play a large role in her inability to communicate.

Halfway through, the plot begins focusing on Chelsea, who was diagnosed with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy while DJing in the U.S. Chelsea was prescribed anti-convulsants but did not enjoy the “horrific” side effects. She opted for medical cannabis and now reports that the disease is gone.

This tale shows Chelsea advocating for Tamsin to get access to the plant but inevitably hears that Tamsin takes a turn for the worse. Some reviewers say it lacks depth for decision, but a story of the love between two sisters is almost always a win for the girls.

A24 releases Dream Scenario premiere cannabis candy

The plant has slowly made its way through stoner comedies and crime dramas into various films, and now it’s a part of movie marketing. In anticipation of the release of the latest Nic Cage vehicle, Dream Scenario, independent entertainment company A24 released a cherry pate de fruit-looking candy with California cannabis brand Seasonal Delights. The sweet treat contains melatonin, 5 milligrams (mg) CBD, and 0.7 mg THC.

This limited-time product is described as a “sleepy delight,” unlike the film. Dream Scenario is a psychological horror following a man forced to face infamy after he randomly starts appearing in peoples’ dreams.

There are tons of celebrities that consume cannabis, some even doing it openly and wearing the plant. Despite this support, it’s only recently that production companies, managers, and agents have started allowing collaborations with the talent or the artistic property. This gummy is an excellent step in the right direction for mainstream cannabis marketing.

Cara Wietstock is Senior Content Producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.