The latest edition of The National Marijuana News looks at two important topics surrounding the cannabis industry: banking and how marijuana is portrayed in the film industry. The program premieres Saturday, April 11, and replays through the week on TNMNews.com.
Eighteen months ago, David Dinenberg realized while watching the evening news that the nation’s multi-billion-dollar cannabis industry lacks something hugely important—a banking system. In this episode of TNMNews, the founder and CEO of KindFinancial (formerly KindBanking) describes his motivations and efforts to bring full-service banking to the cannabis industry.
While people can buy and sell pot in many states, he says that safety remains an issue. He points out that many Colorado dispensaries generate $200-300,000 in sales each month. Lines of cash-laden customers and registers stuffed with cash make dispensaries attractive to criminals. Transporting huge sums of cash can also be very dangerous.
KindFinancial offers the cannabis market loans, equity, convertible debt, and venture capital. Capital enables successful businesses to borrow money for expansion, so a marijuana grower can turn his five-acre operation into a ten-acre farm and dispensary owners can open additional locations.
TNMNews co-hosts Todd Denkin and Jen Gentile also talk to John Stockwell, the director and co-writer of the thriller Kid Cannabis, starring Jonathan Daniel Brown, Ron Perlman, and John C. McGinley. Based on actual events, the feature film tells the story of a cannabis drug smuggling rivalry in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, between Brendan Butler and 19-year-old pizza deliveryman Nate Norman that ended in murder.
In 2002, Butler hired a hitman to kill Norman, but the hitman killed Butler instead and hid his body in the woods of northern Idaho. Discovery of Butler’s corpse led to a subsequent investigation that uncovered the existence of the drug-smuggling operation and eventually, multiple arrests.
Stockwell became so fascinated by the story after reading about it in Rolling Stone Magazine, he successfully pitched it to HBO. He says the story intrigued him for a couple of reasons. First, he found it curious that the people of Coeur d’Alene never questioned the origin of the drug money flooding into their community. Instead, their primary concern was keeping government agents out.
He also found it sad that Norman was sentenced to twelve years in prison for smuggling cannabis into the United States from Canada, but he only received eight years jail time for his second-degree murder conviction.
Stockwell is best known for his portrayals as Dennis Guilder in the Stephen King horror flick “Christine” and Cougar alongside Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in the blockbuster “Top Gun.”
For more on this program, contact Executive Producer Martín Wagmaister at: firstname.lastname@example.org.