EXCLUSIVE: Cannabis feature documentary Lady Buds, which tells the story of a group of multigenerational women as they navigate the new world of cannabis farming and distribution in Northern California, is getting a pair of spinoffs.
The doc, which comes from director and producer CJ Russo, is being developed as a scripted comedy feature as well as a non-scripted series.
Lady Buds, which is set to have its broadcast premiere on March 1 on Starz, tells the story of a group of women including LatinX, African American, LGBTQ and seniors that navigate the world of cannabis the year before and after legalization. It follows the likes of Chiah Rodriques, a second generation cannabis farmer who co-founded a Mendocino County farm alliance, Sue Taylor, a 71-year-old retired Catholic school principal whose mission is to open the first cannabis dispensary for seniors that would offer alternatives to pharmaceuticals, Felicia Carbajal, who provided cannabis to Bay Area AIDS patients in the 1990’s, former New York restauranteur and entrepreneur Karyn Wagner and The Bud Sisters: Pearl Moon & Dr. Joyce Centofanti.
Hellcat, the production company set up by former WME and Endeavor Content exec Pippa Lambert, is developing the comedy feature, which is described in the vein of Bridesmaids with a diverse cast.
The feature will be produced by Lambert, who is producing an adaptation of fantasy novel The Wrath and the Dawn, and Alissa Norby alongside Russo.
“Women may not be the face of cannabis, but they’ve always been the backbone of the culture. Before legalization, 36% of leadership roles in the industry were held by women, and that number is now 22%. These growers are as dynamic as they are diverse, and they’re truly inspiring. I’m thrilled to be bringing their story, a true and still unfolding David and Goliath tale for our times, to life on the big screen,” said Lambert.
Wally Eltawashy, who exec produced Showtime’s documentary on The Go-Gos, is also developing a non-scripted spin-off series for Yoruba Media Labs, the Fulwell73-backed company
The series will follow Taylor, otherwise known as Mama Sue, who is now a dispensary owner who established a business that focuses on senior cannabis access and information through her wellness groups.
“I couldn’t be happier to know that my film Lady Buds is inspiring adaptations that will allow me to continue to support and tell the stories of these courageous, pioneering women,” said Russo. “Along with the exciting acquisition by Starz, which is the perfect home to showcase this film that explores women empowerment and social justice, it’s all a dream come true.”
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