Ronan Farrow Daily   |  March 11, 2014

Meet Colorado’s first family of pot

Marijuana Policy Project's Mason Tvert discusses the push for recreational pot legalization in California. Then, Ronan Farrow presents Vocativ’s documentary on one Colorado family who’ve become among the first Americans to become millionaires in the legal pot business.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we now turn to news from the gate state of colorado . the first numbers are in since recreational pot became legal and the marijuana industry is making a lot of money. from the $14 million spent on recreational pot use alone in january and recreational and medicinal pot, the state raked in more than $3.5 million in taxes and fees. that is a lot of green. in line with expectations but at the high end and there are reasons to expect once licenses are in place and awareness of shops increases that that number could go up. are other states inspired by the gold rush , medical marijuana is legal in colorado but jerry brown said that he's worried about the larger effects of a pot head population on society.

>> all of a sudden if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or great nation? world is pretty dangerous and very competitive. we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day , more than some of the pot heads might be able to put together.

>> how many people can stay stoned and still have a great nation? i don't know, i think that's probably a lot. lieutenant governor gavin newsom disagreed and sees incentive for legalizing pot as states to the north and south of california have already done. take a listen.

>> for almost 20 years now we sat back admiring our accomplishment while the world, the nation and states like colorado and washington have passed us by. it's time to legalize and time to tax. time to regulate marijuana for adults in california .

>> so exactly how much money are other states losing by not following colorado 's model? joining me is nathanty vert, a pro pot lobbyist, described as the don draper of pot. does he look as good in a suit? you judge. a state like california netted up to $105 million in 2012 on taxes from medicinal marijuana alone, which is already legal. are they missing out on a big opportunity to legalize recreational marijuana and benefit from potentially hundreds and millions of dollars more?

>> without a doubt. you know, this is an incredibly popular product. right now it's being largely sold in an underground market where it is going to cartels and other criminal enterprises when it could be going to legitimate tax paying businesses creating legal jobs and really putting that money back into our community.

>> let's talk more about that. in colorado , that money is going to schools, big chunk of it. specific earmark for building of schools and what kind of economic could you see it having? what would you like to see earmarked for benefit from those revenues?

>> well, ultimately this going to come down to each state and how they feel is most appropriate when it comes to distributing the taxes and what the tax rate should be. it's obviously important that we don't overtax this product to the extent that the underground market persists but at the same time we are going to see things change and start to see people treating marijuana more like alcohol where the cost is simply the cost, that they grow accustomed to. public school construction or transportation and roads or drug treatment from people suffering from alcoholism and other substance abuse, there's really a whole lot of things we could be doing with the money as opposed to just flushing it down the toilet quite frankly into the underground market .

>> this thursday denver will roll the first ever marijuana themed job fair called cannisearch, what kind of effect is the pot legalization movement having on job numbers? could that be a positive impact of this?

>> without a doubt. you're talking about hundreds of new businesses, each of them having from three to 50 employees, this is a lot of people who have jobs who are perhaps no longer receiving unemployment, who are now paying taxes and it's really a huge benefit. this is not to mention the amount of business that's now being generated for ancillary industries, things like contractors, the construction industry , real estate , financial and acting services, all of these new legal marijuana businesses require those services just like any other business. and as a result it's really a much bigger impact for our economy than just the tax revenue itself.

>> all right, mason tvert, thanks for joining us.

>> three new public service announcement started to air this week in colorado , driving under the influence of marijuana and come with a little dash of humor. take a look at one.

>> look, installing tvs is hard. the legalization of pot is reshaping state finances in colorado but also reshaping family finances in some cases too and not just tv installation. we want to introduce you to one family among the first americans to become millionaires in the legal pot business. discovered them thanks to our collaboration with a media startup company whose technology penetrates the deep web , the hidden part of the internet that conventional search engines cannot reach and that's where we found colorado 's first family of pot. take a listen.

>> this is a normal night after work in my family.

>> become more silly when we're smoking a bowl. it doesn't intox indicate or debill tate us in any rubbed and hair pul led. it's not weird. she's my daughter.

>> we are the first family of weed.

>> medicine can i help you? i'm kayla williams , i'm a front door pit bull .

>> have you changed anybody since you got your red card ?

>> i've been smoking since i was 13, constantly, i can smoke snoop dogg under the table.

>> i do quality control at medicine man.

>> he's hip. he knows the lingo.

>> both of my kids live with me and work with me. i'm coo, coordinator of operations. i do the least out of all three of us. i bring lunch. here we go into the warehouse. a site very few people get to see. we've gotten it down to more of a science. in this room we have where we'll make all of our babies from. lockers and uniforms for all of the growers. they change their uniforms twice a day so we don't cross contaminate our rooms. it's real important not to carry molds or bugs from room to room. it's just beautiful.

>> i remember sitting around the fireplace making drawings for these different pieces of equipment. and everything is hand watered. they'll take a piece of wire and bend this plant over here so it fills up the spot. we'll have continuous carpet of buds, which is a sea of green. plants need co2 which yields a 20% increase in output so it's very much worth it.

>> it's crazy, i never would have thought my dad divorced my mom and started growing in our basement and that's where it started, just him with his little ideas tinkering around. we thought, this could make us some money and we should ask grandpa about that.

>> what has happened here is beyond my wildest imagination. the five or six of us started out around that little table trimming and thinking how are we ever going to make any money.

>> i haven't told everyone. it's kind of a touchy situation because some people don't believe in marijuana.

>> old ladies who thought, pot, pot, oh, my arthritis, maybe i should try that. it's like a pharmacy. it's safe and it's discreet and everything like that, even though it doesn't have to be. colorado is out, we're open.

>> we have the 20,000 square feet and we have another 20,000 square feet and we're going to more than double what we're making right now on this new site.

>> i feel very proud and happy, this is my family business .

>> we all do it together. pot brings people together.

>> they are going to be owners of this place once i'm gone. i'm very proud of my kids.

>> pot in the back is so beautiful.

>> so beautiful. we want to thank our friends for that work on that story. you can see more reporting by logging into vok tif.com or staying with us for future