Oak Creek resident to be featured in CNN series on Colorado’s booming recreational marijuana industry
Steamboat Springs — Oak Creek resident Brian Rogers has a dream of building a recreational marijuana money-making empire, and a film crew for CNN has spent the past year capturing his journey as part of an eight-episode series that will air in 2015.
Entitled “High Profits,” the CNN Original Series will follow Rogers and business partner Caitlin McGuire’s quest to maximize wealth and opportunity in Colorado’s booming recreational marijuana industry, which Rogers estimates will grow into a multi-billion dollar business next year, he said in the recently released trailer. The episodes will run for an hour each.
Rogers is a prospective co-owner of three marijuana dispensaries in three Colorado counties. McGuire is the current owner.
With CCC Management, Rogers took over the old kayak factory in Oak Creek, converting it into a 16,000-square-foot growing warehouse. Rogers said Friday that around this time last year, CNN began working with him on the documentary series, and he has granted the film crew full access to the couple’s facilities, including the Oak Creek warehouse.
Rogers and McGuire are hoping that the episodes — which don’t have exact release dates yet — will open viewers’ eyes to the vast business potential of marijuana after Colorado became one of the first states to legalize its recreational use and sale.
“We wanted to show America what’s going on behind the scenes in the marijuana industry,” Rogers said. “It’s normal people in a normal business. We really wanted to show people it’s not as scary as everyone thinks.”
The biggest problem with the now 11-month-old industry? That would be the cash-only narrative with marijuana sellers that has taken hold with complicated taxes and unfriendly banks, CNN wrote in its series announcement late last month.
It’s the cash-heavy aspect that Rogers addresses heavily in the trailer and touched on a bit Friday.
“We wanted for personal reasons to demonstrate that this money needs to be in the bank,” Rogers said. “That’s the biggest problem in the industry.”
The trailer begins with McGuire and Rogers traveling in a car with $100,000 in cash on board, passing the Buena Vista Correctional Complex as Rogers tells the camera crew: “I bet there are guys right there in that prison for doing just what we’re about to do.”
One man in the trailer calls Rogers and McGuire “brilliant” for targeting Colorado resort communities’ recreational marijuana buyers. A police officer in the trailer said Breckenridge — where the couple co-owns Breckenridge Cannabis Club — isn’t “the Amsterdam of the Rockies” and that they don’t want that to change.
Rogers called having a film crew follow the couple around for nearly a year “cumbersome.” Oak Creek Town Administrator Mary Alice Page-Allen said the cameras were on hand in a recent planning commission meeting.
Although the cameras on top of Rogers’ and McGuire’s busy back-and-forth schedules haven’t been easy, Rogers added that they are excited to get the message out and allow viewers unprecedented access to an industry he’s hoping makes them very wealthy.
“We’re also hoping that this normalizes marijuana for people, just like the five states in a row that legalized it without a hiccup,” Rogers said.