LADY BUDS – Documentary Review

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Chris J. Russo’s engaging and informative first feature documentary, Lady Buds, is an enlightening and exasperating tell all about the troubles currently impacting the lives and careers of women who are working in the weed trade in Northern California. The film chronicles the struggles of six independent female cannabis growers and distributors who were once worried about facing criminal charges for their chosen careers, but are now fighting to hold their ground against Big Agro companies that are — with the complicity of local authorities — moving in to take control of the burgeoning medical and recreational market for marijuana.

Long before cannabis was legalized, Northern California’s Humboldt County was one of the major seats of pot production in the US, and many of the growers and sellers were women who harvested expansive and flourishing fields of plants that were hidden from authorities in the area’s dense woodlands. Despite occasional raids and razing, the entrepreneurial lady pot providers delivered top quality product and prospered, creating a viable industry that supported themselves, their families and their communities.

But since California Proposition 64, passed in 2016. legalized recreational pot, large and well-endowed corporations have moved in and are displacing local women growers, uprooting their lifestyle one by one, and impacting their personal income and the flow of funds through their communities. In Lady Buds, we meet six women who are determined to find ways to fight ‘big bud farming,’ big agro and ultra-controlling corporate America.

Whether you use marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes or not, cannabis-specific Lady Buds is of interest because it raises questions about corporate control of agricultural land, crop manipulation and related issues that have been addressed in previous documentaries, such as King Corn, about small independent farmers trying to withstand the Monsanto effect. And, in this documentary, the issues are shown and examined specifically from the female perspective.


Title: Lady Buds

Directors: Chris J. Russo

Release Date: November 19, 2021

Running Time: 96 minutes

Language: English

Screenwriter: Documentary (Chris J. Russo)

Distribution Company: Gravitas

Official Website

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