THE NEW GOLD RUSH - CNBC S "MARIJUANA INC.: INSIDE AMERICA’S POT INDUSTRY" ANCHORED BY TRISH REGAN, PREMIERES THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 2009
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., January 12, 2009 - While it may not be traded on Wall Street any time soon, marijuana is a booming cash crop that rakes in billions of dollars in cash-strapped California –
and an estimated tens of billions of dollars nationwide. CNBC's "Marijuana Inc.: Inside America's Pot Industry" anchored by Trish Regan and premiering Thursday, January 22, at 9PM and 1AM ET, goes behind the scenes to explore the inner workings of this secretive industry.
CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, reports from northern California's "Emerald Triangle" - the marijuana capital of the U.S. - and gathers the personal stories of growers, many of whom are otherwise everyday, law-abiding citizens. Among others, Regan speaks with a journalist, a political activist, and even a former member of law enforcement who are making money, growing pot.
CNBC's Regan looks at the alluring economics of the business, reporting that it costs approximately $400 to produce one pound of pot, which in turn sells for $2,500 to a middle man, and then yields $6,000 on the street, making it the world's most profitable drug. In Mendocino County (CA.) alone, it may account for two thirds of the local economy.
Investigating this vast underground industry, Regan visits the marijuana fields to talk to the proprietors, as well as the law enforcement officials who work to shut down the operations. She reveals the increasing 'dark side' of a business often rife with violence and agricultural pollution. The marijuana trade has become so lucrative that, according to federal law enforcement officials, the notorious Mexican drug cartels are traveling north of the border to put down roots –
often establishing pot gardens in our national parks and other public lands, where an estimated 70% of domestic, outdoor marijuana is now grown.
Looking further into the marijuana trade, Regan interviews a drug kingpin who for many years successfully smuggled tons of marijuana to the San Francisco Bay area before the locally produced crop began to dominate.
CNBC's "Marijuana Inc.: Inside America's Pot Industry" re-airs on Sunday, January 25, at 10PM ET.
Trish Regan is co-anchor of CNBC's "The Call" (11AM-12PM ET).
Jonathan Dann is the producer of CNBC's "Marijuana Inc.: Inside America's Pot Industry, Lauren Farelly is associate producer. Mitch Weitzner is the Executive Producer of CNBC's Long Form Unit. Jonathan Wald is the Senior Vice President, Business News at CNBC.
For more information including web extras and extended video clips, log onto cnbc.com.
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