CNBC announced on Monday that “Marijuana Inc.” — its original, in-depth investigation of the $100 billion pot industry — did so well when it aired this summer, the network has decided to roll another one.
“Marijuana USA,” a CNBC original, is set to air on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT). CNBC anchor Trish Regan, the reporter on “Marijuana Inc.” and author of an upcoming book on weed ("Joint Ventures: Inside America's Almost Legal Marijuana Industry," due out April 20, 2011, naturally) — returns as host.
Regan will take viewers “back inside the flourishing pot industry — as the world’s most commonly used illicit drug comes out of the shadows and into mainstream.”
And it appears CNBC is pushing the show like a drug dealer, blowing out the travel budget for Regan:
Correspondent Trish Regan reports from Colorado, where a new and thriving marijuana industry is infusing much-needed capital and jobs into a weak economy. In Colorado, this fast growing business is attracting a new generation of marijuana entrepreneurs — savvy, young professionals emerging from the unlikely fields of finance, biotechnology, government and medicine — who are re-branding pot as a natural herbal remedy and selling it openly in dispensaries all over town. The state now has more pot dispensaries than it does Starbucks, and authorities not only sanction the drug, but also regulate, license, and tax it, like any other product.
CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, travels to the frontlines of America’s weed wars –from the fierce political campaign to legalize the drug in California to the ambitious air and ground campaign to search for marijuana plots deep in the mountainous terrain of eastern Kentucky. CNBC’s Regan speaks with Lieutenant Brent Roper, the commander of Kentucky’s marijuana strike force, who swears that Kentucky will be the last state to ever legalize marijuana as just another taxable commodity.
Regan also takes viewers to Portugal — the first country in the world to fully decriminalize the possession of all drugs. She speaks with Joao Goulao, Portugal’s drug czar and the chief architect of this strategy, about the country’s unique and radical drug policy.
CNBC.com is also expanding its cannabis coverage, adding stories to a startingly throrough mini-site, Marijuana & Money:
New topics addressed include the "Hydroponics Boom," which looks at how the manufacture, distribution and retail of hydroponics equipment has become a nearly half-billion business; the explosive growth of "Marijuana Testing Labs;" and a profile of Mile High Ice Cream, a company that has found a tasty way to capture some of Colorado's fast-growing medical marijuana market.
Bonus for the stoners who managed to get this far: video of the entire original CNBC pot report.
[Photo illustration by TheWrap]