Volunteers needed for cannabis cultivation TV documentary
By Dr Gary Potter
Want to share your knowledge and experiences about cannabis cultivation – and help dispel some myths and stereotypes?
Want to be on telly (anonymously, of course)?
October films, an independent TV production company, have been commissioned to make a documentary for ITV about cannabis cultivation in the UK. They are looking for potential volunteers to appear in this documentary – strictly anonymously, with identities masked (unless contributors wish to be identified). The focus is on the divisions in the UK market between ‘cottage industry’ type growers and the involvement of organised crime in some parts of the market, and they are particularly looking for growers with interesting stories to tell.
- The overall picture or angle (for want of a better word) they are exploring is how organised crime has hijacked the cottage industry favouring smaller growers and moved towards larger scale farms. An interesting aspect here is the effect of police clamp downs which arguably push smaller scale, independent growers out of the market, leaving it increasingly in the hands of organised crime. There is a belief amongst the production team that if cannabis were legalised the links to organised crime wouldn’t exist so strongly.
- They are trying to access anyone who can illustrate some of these points with their own personal experiences. They are interested (of course) in anyone who is or has been involved in the growing/dealing world. In particular:
– growers being ‘used’ by middle-men/dealers (it would be interesting to see the different examples of threat or coercion used)
– dealers using ‘co-ops’ or ‘franchises’ as a way of getting produce to sell (again anyone who can talk about using these business models and why they are doing so)
– growers that are targeted by or are targeting rival growers
– growers that have been approached by organised crime types because of their horticultural skills
– growers that grow or dealers that deal a selection of different strains of cannabis and can discuss the different properties and how the connoisseur market has developed
If anybody is interested in participating, or wants further information, they can either contact Marta Shaw at October films or Dr Gary Potter at London South Bank University who is working with October films as an expert adviser (firstname.lastname@example.org). Dr Potter has published a number of academic papers on cannabis cultivation, with a particular focus on small-scale ‘ideologically’ motivated growers. He has written a book on cannabis cultivation in the UK (Weed, Need and Greed: a study of domestic cannabis cultivation) and co-edited (with Prof. Tom Decorte, University of Ghent, Belgium, and Prof. Martin Bouchard, Simon Fraser University, Canada) a book on cannabis cultivation around the world (World Wide Weed: global trends in cannabis cultivation and its control). He is firmly of the belief that small-scale cannabis cultivation should be legalised.