On Friday, August 13, the governor of Colorado presented the creators of South Park with souvenir license plates that pay homage to the fictional marijuana company Tegridy Farms that’s featured in several episodes of the comedy series. He added that one of the show’s most popular stoner characters would make a good mascot for the state. Gov. Jared Polis met with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone to celebrate the 24th anniversary of the show, which takes place in a fictional Colorado city. He handed them ceremonial plates that were modeled after an actual one that was auctioned off as part of a marijuana-themed charity that the state launched in April.
Residents were able to bid on vanity plates with words such as, “BONG,” “GANJA,” “GOTWAX,” “HEMP,” and “ISIT420.” The purpose of the auction was to raise money for a state disability fund. Polis said the “TEGRIDY” plate “was one of the highest-selling” items, with “5,000 raised for charity.” The only other one that went for more was “ISIT420,” he said. He continued, “We raised over $50,000 for charity, and I would like to present you with – we had these made up, these are not for vehicles.”
The governor concluded, “These are souvenir Tegrity license plates, officially for Colorado. They’ll go up on your wall and your office.” Earlier in the conversation, Gov. Polis asked the creators which character they’d pick as a mascot for Colorado. The cannabis-smoking talking towel Towelie – famous for getting high – was Stone’s choice. He said it’d be a good way to represent the state’s marijuana businesses, and the governor agreed that Towelie would be a “good” mascot. Although South Park’s episodes take place in a fictional world, they satirize real-world issues in the cannabis industry.
For instance, in 2019, the show took an overt jab at a video produced by the marijuana company MedMen, and it’s generally been critical of the corporatization of the market. The South Park video aimed at the marijuana company starts the same way as MedMen’s, discussing the cultivation of hemp by George Washington and the harms of the war on drugs. It then shifts to a scene featuring marijuana executives celebrating, with charts in the background showing climbing profits from cannabis sales. The narrator says, “Then a bunch of young banker types come along telling us we’re all in the ‘new normal’ as they try to turn god’s green miracle into an easy buck for themselves.”
The narrator continues, “They even hire fancy Hollywood directors to make them look all hip and cool. But you know what? Fuck those guys. They ain’t got no integrity.” While this may have been done in humor, the show is shining a bright light on the mass corporatization of the marijuana industry as legalization has become more prominent throughout the nation. There are also some hints in the South Park clip that allude to the fictitious Tegridy Farms cannabis brand that may transform into a real-life marijuana business at some point. This belief comes a year after South Park released an entire episode dedicated to the brand and, in the time since, entities named Tegrity LLC were officially registered in Colorado and Oregon, though it’s still unclear if those are tied to the creators of South Park or just inspired by the show.
If the rumors are to be true this will be great for the cannabis culture. It will be a brand that’s not only derived from a classic television show but will also (ideally) be focused on maintaining integrity.