Today marks the historic debut of Bud Empire, History’s new TV show that takes a deep dive into the Canadian cannabis industry, and as one of the first shows of its kind in Canada, there was no better setting than British Columbia, the home of world-famous “BC Bud”.
Bud Empire follows Bob Kay, the owner of the Be Kind compassion clubs, as he goes about his business in the heart of the beautiful Okanagan Valley, known more for its luscious orchards and verdant vineyards. With Bud Empire, you can add one more crop to the list of things the Okanagan is famous for- cannabis!
While cannabis isn’t even legal yet, you might be wondering what kinds of risks Mr. Kay is taking by being so open about his business, but he doesn’t see it that way. He’s doing this to fight the stigma around cannabis, and he’s a veteran grower who’s been doing it for over 10 years, too.
As Bob Kay tells the Province,
“People need to see what’s really going on behind the curtain, like the Wizard of Oz. It’s not a boogeyman — it’s real people working in this industry who have lives, children, families.”
He’s living that example, too, as a married father of four working in the cannabis industry, which is a far cry from the less-savoury images the plant has been associated with, especially in the mainstream media over the decades.
But cannabis is a fast-paced industry, and with the legality of it still up in the air, there’s a constant tension because you never know if today will be the day that the police decide to raid you and take everything away that you’ve spent your whole life building. Bob also lives with the ever-looming threat of the politicians and big corporations trying to muscle their way into the industry that he helped build.
Somehow, Bob Kay has persevered through it all, from literal bags full of cash to bullet-proof houses, saying,
“Why haven’t I been shut down? Mainly because they [the city and authorities] see that we’re doing the right thing”.
The timing is very relevant too as the show debuts just two days before the Senate’s final vote on the Cannabis Act!
Bud Empire debuts on History at 10 PM/ET. Are stoked for the series premiere of Bud Empire? Let us know in the comments below!
The Province: Bud Empire aims to remove stigma around pot dispensaries