The Discovery Channel announced today that it will produce a reality series about Oakland's Harborside Health Center, the nation's largest medical cannabis dispensary.
"Weed Wars," scheduled to premiere this fall, "fearlessly pulls back the curtain on a once illegal and still controversial world," according to a press release issued by Discovery.
In 2004, Oakland became the first city to license medical cannabis outlets. Harborside, founded by Steve DeAngelo, serves over 80,000 patients. It recently extended its reach with a second location in San Jose.
In addition to DeAngelo and his staff, "Weed Wars" will follow the journey of the plant itself -- from seed germination to harvesting, profiling growers and farmers along the way.
Nancy Daniels, executive vice president of production and development for Discovery Channel, said her network was interested in doing the series because "this is a business that is at the forefront of a movement and an industry that is coming out of the shadows.
"It's fascinating to get a glimpse into this once-illegal world," she said in an e-mail interview. "And we've also found in Harborside some great real-life characters who are building their family business. It's got drama, stakes, compelling characters and an unexplored world."
Production crews have been shooting in the Bay Area for six months, a Discovery spokesperson said. A premiere date for the series has yet to be announced.