Traveling Cannabis Film Festival Makes Its Way to Miami

A cannabis-inspired film festival is coming to Miami.
A cannabis-inspired film festival is coming to Miami. Photo by Kyle Geib / Flickr
Now that Florida's cannabis culture is coming out of the closet, it's time for a weed-inspired film festival.

And who better to celebrate it with than Cheech Marin?

"We're hoping to get some celebrities to show up," says Tim Mattson, director of the fourth-annual traveling CannaBus Culture Film Festival, which will be held in Miami for the first time this September 28. "I'm pushing really hard to get Cheech Marin to make an appearance."

So far, Marin has not committed to the festival, and there's no word yet about whether Tommy Chong — the other half of the comedy duo Cheech & Chong — will make an appearance. But because both actors starred in cannabis-inspired comedies in the '70s and '80s, they would surely draw a crowd of South Florida film enthusiasts who grew up on their movies.

But even if the original Hollywood stoners don't make it, the cannabis film fest still has much to offer.

"We have three feature films: Two of them are documentaries; one is a narrative," Mattson says. "And we have 22 short films, everything from drama to horror, and a majority [being] comedy."

There will also be a few films Mattson describes as "classic movies," so if nothing else, Cheech & Chong might make an appearance on the big screen.

The three full-length feature films are as follows:
  • The Blueberry Farmer, which tells the story of Bernie Ellis, a Tennessee epidemiologist who was arrested for growing medical cannabis he used to treat himself and his patients with cancer and AIDS.
  • Unprescribed, which shines a light on the countless military veterans across the nation ditching prescription medications with harsh side effects in favor of cannabis.
  • Wall of Flesh: A Vintage Comedy, which is described in the trailer as a "vintage-inspired slapstick comedy with sex, drugs, and deep-soul jazz."
The list of short films, which run less than 30 minutes, can be viewed by clicking here.

The inaugural CannaBus Culture Film Festival was held in New York City in 2016 and took place in Colorado and Vermont in subsequent years. This year's tour will kick off in Miami and travel to Seattle and Portland.

"We're trying to show the positive aspects of the [cannabis] culture through the films we present," Mattson says. "We try to make it our mission to have as many documentaries to help enlighten and educate people about what the cannabis community can be or what it actually is."

CannaBus Culture Film Festival. 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, September 28, at 168 SE First St., 3rd floor, Miami. Tickets cost $29 via
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Carlos Miller is a Miami multimedia journalist who runs Photography Is Not a Crime, an award-winning national news site about First Amendment issues and police abuse.
Contact: Carlos Miller