International Cannabis Business Conference

Netflix Review: 'High Profits'

The stars of "High Profits": Breckenridge couple Caitlin McGuire and Brian Rogers.

CNN's reality-series High Profits focuses on the story of Caitlin McGuire and Brian Rogers, who owned the Breckenridge Cannabis Club (BCC), and their battle to survive in one of Colorado's best-known mountain towns. The eight-part series is now available on Netflix.

Episode 1 ("Dreams of Empire") introduces them as they gear up for switching over to recreational sales on Jan. 1, 2014 (they began as a dispensary in 2009). Within days, they're swamped with cash, as the line to get in snakes down the snowy Main St. block. But the town's leaders don't want them there. They're concerned about Breckenridge's family skiing destination reputation. Rec pot doesn't fit into the equation.

In Episode 2 ("Hazard Pay"), we learn more about the town's concerns. Ultimately, the plan is to push the Club out to Airport Rd., where four other pot stores are located. It's all about the upscale clientele that the former attract and the grungy hippie-types who frequent the latter.

In Episode 3 ("Caitlin's Law), hippies start crashing in Breckenridge, forcing Rogers to tactfully ask one to not camp out in front of his door. But the bigger issue is the competion - the other pot stores on Airport Rd., where BCC is heading if they can't convince the City Council to let them stay on Main St.. Katherine Grimm, who represents the stores, wants a "level playing field"; her contention is BCC has a monoppoly and should be willing to share the legal weed revenues. She claims they take in 80 % of the money spent on marijuana in Breckenridge. The Council extends BCC's Main St. license for another six months, until Feb. 2015.

The fight over Breckenridge Cannabis Club leads to a town vote on "High Profits."

In Episode 4 ("Game On"), the plot thickens as the Council leans towards letting the voters decide whether marijuana should have a place on Main Street. Sadly, BCC has to destroy hundred of plants when the license for a grow location expires.

The emotional rollercoaster of not knowing whether they'll survive on Main St. hits McGuire hard in Episode 5 ("She Will Kill Us All"). She tears up several times as the town council decides to put the issue to a public vote. Grimm's role in the series continues to confound. Suddenly, she's starting a grow faciltiy without a license. 

In Episode 6 ("Sneaky Smart"), Grimm meets with Rogers, but he clearly doesn't trust her, and for good reason. "I'm hesitant to work with someone who doesn't disclose their motivation," he notes. She says her motivation is financial. Read CelebStoner's interview with Katherine Grimm here.

In Episode 7 ("Of and For the People"), Breckenridge votes against BCC and pot shops on Main Street.

In the final episode ("Apr s-ski"), Rogers and McGuire open a new store - Backcountry Cannabis Co. - on Airport Rd. Grimm's grow facility has yet to receive a license. And life in snowy Breckenridge goes on, minus the town's only pot shop on Main Street.

High Profits shines a light on the contradictions in Colorado, where cities can opt out of legalization or chose to move stores to less desirable locations. Rogers and McGuire fight valiantly to save their stop, but ultimately are not saavy enough politically to overcome the conservative tide in Breckenridge.

Epilogue: Rogers and McGuire sold Backcoutry Cannabis to Denver chain Green Dragon Cannabis at the end of 2015. They still own a store and grow facilty in Crested Butte.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, editor-in-chief of Freedom Leaf, co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness, and the former editor of High Times.