"Lady Buds" Documentary Premieres in Willits
by Stacey Sheldon
November 19, 2021-- On Saturday, November 20th, Willits’ Noyo Theater will host the Mendocino premier of a new documentary film called Lady Buds. The film follows six courageous women from the Emerald Triangle and Bay Area; as they emerge from the shadows of the cannabis underground to go legal. But with big money corporations taking over the industry, these trailblazers must now, ironically, fight to survive in an industry they helped to create.
One of Mendocino’s own legacy cannabis farmers, Chiah Rodriques, is featured in this documentary. The process of shooting her storyline took more than two years and amassed over 500 hours of footage. The documentary crew set up inside and outside of Rodriques’ home on Greenfield Ranch, and filmed seasons of planting, growing and harvesting on her family’s farm, capturing intimate scenes of her family’s life. Rodriques did not predict the impact the filming would have on her husband and two teenage children. Despite the challenges, she was grateful to be a part of Lady Buds.
A common theme running through all six of the women’s stories in Lady Buds is the current challenges Emerald Triangle legacy cannabis workers face as Big Business slowly infiltrates the industry. Big Business harms local cannabis workers as their big money with investment backing allows them to control the market and dictate what sells and at what price. They can weather the economic storms, eat costs, and undercut.
Renee Petry, Mendocino accountant for Licensed Cannabis Cultivators and Nurseries, has witnessed the difficulty local farmers face in this new era of legalization and regulation. She encourages local industry workers to continue to attend meetings to help shape legislation, and she reminds farmers that they have useful skills that can translate into other careers if the farming aspect does not serve them any longer.
Lady Buds will be released in theaters nationwide on November 26th, and is also available on iTunes.