As one of the most highly regulated industries in the U.S. cannabis is often embroiled in legalization battles. But the plant’s history dates back to 500 B.C. — and has deep roots in American history.
Kiva Confections, a cannabis edibles brand, aims to spread awareness of cannabis history through a new IGTV series called “High History.” The series stars YouTube personality Chris Klemens, comedian Rachel Wolfson and TV writer and podcaster Ira Madison III as they consume Kiva products and recount little known historical cannabis facts.
Kiva’s Michael Guffey hosts the show while lounging in an armchair and smoking a pipe. Cinestone's Logan Stone directed the show, which was developed by social agency Narrative Group.
“High History” was inspired by Comedy Central’s “Drunk History,” which features celebrities telling historical accounts while under the influence of alcohol, and “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis”a series of interviews between host and comedian Zach Galifianakis and celebrities.
But the show isn’t exactly the same. “High History” focuses on conversation without complicated set design, and forgoes the satirical reenactments core to the show, Rebecca Nelson, creative director at Kiva Brands, told Campaign US.
“Our juxtaposition of a professorial library study and two people performing while experiencing a euphoric high was our source of intrigue and hilarity in this series,” she said. “We also had fun with set props, and we encouraged both the series host and guest comedians to incorporate these historical props into their sketches in unique ways.”
All five “snackable” episodes of “High History” are under two minutes long and center on a humorous historical lesson.
“Our supporters, customers and patients are serious about cannabis as a medicine, but playful and open about their cannabis use and the fun ways they enjoy our products,” said Nelson.
In episode one, Klemons gets stoned on Kiva’s 20mg Terra Bites before recounting that Benjamin Franklin “may have been a pothead” and that the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence on hemp paper.
Although the history is factual, Klemons’ delivery was mostly improvised while under the influence. “They're super down for whatever,” he said. “They let me just have fun.”
Ultimately, “High History” hopes to give people a more nuanced understanding of cannabis.
“Cannabis is much more than just something to get high and be stupid with your friends or whatever misconceived notions people have,” said Klemmons. “There really is such a history of the good, bad and ugly of cannabis. And to be where we are right now, in the year 2021, I don't think people would have imagined it.”
Viewers can tune into High History on the @madebykiva IGTV channel and on Klemens, Wolfson and Madison's social media channels.