A new Delta College Public Media documentary focuses on the cannabis industry in the region

A new, locally-produced PBS documentary takes viewers behind the scenes of the marijuana industry in Michigan.

Since Michigan voters approved the sale of adult-use recreational marijuana in 2018, much has happened. Today, pot shops have opened in our downtowns and at our busiest intersections. A major growing facility sits just off I-75 near Pinconning. Drive down any Michigan highway and you’ll see multiple billboards touting the benefits of marijuana. The distinctive, pungent smell is everywhere.

“Cannabusiness: Marijuana on MainStreet,” is a one-hour documentary focusing on the impact of the manufacture and sale of recreational marijuana in the Great Lakes Bay Region and the state. Its broadcast premiere was Tues., April 23 at 8 p.m., on Delta College Public TV (PBS). It is available now through the Delta College Public Media Passport.

Bob Przybylski, an Emmy-award-winning documentarian, and Ron Beacom, the former editor of Route Bay City’s sister publication Catalyst Midland, produced the documentary.

“We wanted to show our viewers just what is behind the doors of all those stores and growing facilities that have popped up throughout our communities,” Przybylski says. “We all see the billboards and smell the smells. We wanted to peek behind the curtain of this lucrative new industry in Michigan.”

Beacom says the program also highlights the industry’s scientific side.

“We’ve learned this is big business with a lot of science behind it,” Beacom says.

The documentary takes viewers inside a cannabis grow, product manufacturer, and retail stores. It identifies why some communities have said “yes” to the manufacture and sale of marijuana in their communities, while others have said “no.”

The documentary also explores concerns from law enforcement and medical communities. The documentary also looks ahead to the possible future of cannabis in Michigan and the nation.

Beacom and Przybylski worked on this project for over a year, shooting in several locations throughout the region.

This is their third project together after producing two documentaries on the devastating Tittabawassee River disaster and aftermath titled “Breached,” released in 2020 and “Breached: Part Two,” released in 2021. 

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