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A Different Kind of Chocolate Joint

May 3, 2009 7:30 PM

Cable has already produced reality shows focusing on bounty hunters, tanning salon owners and virtually every washed-up celebrity of the 1970s and ’80s.

Frank Sheftel of 'Grass Roots'

So why not a series about a Willy Wonka-like chocolatier who (legally) deals pot? That’s the idea behind “Grass Roots,” an unscripted project in the works from producers Jonathan Reiner (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”) and Julio Kollerbohm (“Pam: Girl on the Loose”). The show focuses on Frank Sheftel, who runs Los Angeles-based chocolate store the Candy Factory, as well as a medical marijuana dispensary.

The drama—and comedy—in the show will come from Mr. Sheftel trying to balance his dual identities as well as his very different customer bases. While networks traditionally have been leery of any program with drug themes, there are signs those attitudes could be going up in smoke. Fox recently aired a half-hour episode of “Family Guy” that paid musical tribute to the pro-pot movement. And the Obama administration has signaled that it likely will be tolerant of California’s medical marijuana laws. In the meantime, Mr. Reiner and Mr. Kollerbohm have shot a pilot presentation for “Grass Roots” and are in the process of pitching it to cable networks via their agents at APA.

—Josef Adalian


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