Father-Son Marijuana Business Filming Reality TV Show in Denver
Denver could soon get the Hollywood treatment, as a father-son duo from the marijuana industry partnered with cable TV producers to film a prospective reality TV series.
Richard Batenburg Jr. and Rick Batenburg III have worked together in the cannabis business since 2015, managing a marijuana investment fund. After their fund purchased Clear, a popular marijuana extraction and vaporization brand, in 2017, the pair expanded into marijuana counseling, CBD products and more strategic investments, and thought the momentum of their family business was interesting enough to be presented on the small screen.
The Batenburgs have teamed up with local producer Patrick Hackett and cable TV producer David McKillop, whose credits include reality shows like Deadliest Take, duck dynasty, Ice Road Truckers, Star pawns and Storage Wars, to create an eight-episode series about Richard, Rick and their peers in the marijuana business. Although a deal has not been signed, Richard says McKillop is executive producing the project, with filming currently underway and negotiations underway with a major television network.
“The [producers] such as generational or family dynamics. The show is kind of a mix between Star pawns and shark tank, where Denver isn’t the host of the show, but we’re sort of the hub. All of these interesting characters will come along, and either we’ll acquire the business, or we’ll look at doing a deal with them through our Clear product line – or maybe they just need some help fundraising,” says Richard.
The father-son duo got into the marijuana business seven years ago, when Richard began investing in pot “passively, like a hobby”, he recalls. But Rick was bored with his investment banking job at Merrill Lynch, and he joined his father in exploring the entrepreneurial opportunities of marijuana.
“We work very well together,” says Rick “We are a family business. We are very emotionally invested in the success of these businesses [we invest in], and at the end of the day, I think that will show through. We’re trying to build the biggest cannabis company in the world, period, and this show will follow.”
If they land a TV deal, it won’t be the first time father and son have worked together in front of an audience.
“We’ve been working together almost since he was born,” says Richard, who coached his son in hockey for 13 years. “We worked together through my various ventures. Sometimes I used Rick in trade shows, demos for infomercials.”
Now, a film crew is following the Batenburgs and their crew across Denver, across the country and across Canada as they expand their marijuana interests. According to Richard, the proposed show would take viewers through the science behind cannabis and the legal hurdles marijuana businesses face, such as federal banking bans and the differences between THC, CBD, marijuana, and hemp. . Although the Batenburgs are the main focus of High scienceRick promises that colorful characters from Denver’s marijuana space will also make an appearance.
“Above all, we have to entertain, so we have to earn the public’s trust by giving them something entertaining. My dad and I are pretty animated characters, and there are definitely people in this industry who are characters,” he adds. “There’s also the fairly high risk tolerance and absurd situations of cannabis, and I think the adversity will be quite interesting.”
Although recreational sales have been permitted in Denver since January 1, 2014, the local marijuana space has recently caught the attention of cable television. Last year, TV entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis profiled a handful of Denver marijuana businesses on his CNBC show street dreams. Earlier this year, the Denver dispensary Simply Pure appeared on Elevated designa Discovery+ show about dispensary transformation, while local cannabis chef Jarod Farina recently appeared on the Food Network show Defeat Bobby Flay.