Vancouver media personalities score digital deal for pot shows

Daily Brew

[Fiona Forbes, left, and Mary Zilba, right, are teaming up with Jerrick Media to launch three marijuana-themed shows. PHOTO: LadyPants Productions]

For Vancouver-based TV personalities Fiona Forbes and Mary Zilba, April 20 seems like a fitting day to announce their new project — three pot-themed digital TV shows. Given that 4/20 is celebrated by stoners as a national holiday, it seemed like an appropriate day to officially announced the news.  

The pair, who’ve been best friends for a decade, founded their production company LadyParts Production exactly a year ago. After regularly jotting down ideas for TV shows while enjoying a glass of wine, Zilba and Forbes decided that between the two of them, they had enough television experience to start making things happen. So they did.

After meeting with several U.S. companies, they teamed up with New York-based Jerrick Media to launch the pot-themed cooking show Baked, pop-culture infotainment show Marijuana Minute and Stoners in Stilettos, a docu-series about women in the marijuana industry.

“So-called ‘potpreneurs’ are mostly women,” Zilba tells Yahoo Canada News. “You wouldn’t expect that to be the case but women have really found their place in this marijuana business.”

All shows will run on Jerrick’s online network, Potent.Media, which will focus on marijuana themed content, though the women are looking for network distribution.

The women couldn’t reveal exactly how much the deal is worth, though they say that depends on how many people will be watching. They’ve released branded merchandise for Baked, such as aprons and cooking utensils.

“It could be very lucrative,” Forbes says.

Forbes has been a fixture on local television as a host for shows like Breakfast Television and The Rush, while Zilba is best known as one of the Real Housewives of Vancouver and as a singer songwriter. They connected with Baked host Mary Jean Dunsdon while searching for interesting characters for their pot show. Dunsdon, who also goes by Watermelon, is a local personality who’s been known in certain Vancouver circles for selling “goods” at the city’s Wreck Beach and for her stand-up comedy.

“She’s been cooking with cannabis for 10 years,” Forbes says. “She really is an expert. Her information is on point when it comes to using the right amount of cannabis.”

“She always says, ‘You want people to come over for dinner but you don’t want them to stay over,’” Zilba chimes in.

Although neither Forbes nor Zilba smoke pot, the women are in favour of legalization and medicinal use.

“There is a place in the world for marijuana to be used medicinally,” Forbes says. “We want to promote that…you cannot deny the benefits some people get for whatever their ailment is. It is our future.”