Over the course of its 24 year (and counting) run, the beloved animated series South Park has satirized just about every prominent facet of mainstream culture imaginable. Set in the town of South Park, Colorado, the long-running cartoon starring four foul-mouthed adolescents has taken on all comers, be it the ego of Kanye West, the sanctity of holiday specials, or the applications of stem cell research.
Starting with Season 23, co-creators and main voice talent Trey Parker and Matt Stone have also dedicated several episodes and plotlines to the legal cannabis industry.
The first episode focused on the subject aired back in 2019, which introduced viewers to the fictional Tegridy Farms. Many of the storylines concerning Tegridy have served to skewer greedy venture capitalists within the cannabis industry. In one episode, for example, a high-concept short film released by MedMen was the obvious inspiration for a Tegridy Farms spot that lambasted the corporatization of the market.
Following a recent deal with ViacomCBS that will pay Parker and Stone a staggering $900 million to keep South Park going through 2027, the pair have suggested that part of their new riches may be used to turn Tegridy into a reality.
Speaking with Bloomberg, Matt Stone offered the following insight when asked about how the pair might spend their new, massive paycheck.
“I think we’re really, for the first time, going to bring Tegridy Weed into real life,” he shared.
Though little beyond Stone’s quote is official, there is some other evidence to suggest that efforts to establish Tegridy Farms as legitimate cannabis operation are already underway.
According to Marijuana Moment, an official page for South Park’s Tegridy Farms contains details on “numerous inactive domain names, including one focused on a specific strain name — Catotonic Tegridy Bud — that was mentioned in a 2018 episode” that Stone and Parker have already purchased.
The story also makes note that entities named Tegridy Farms LLC were officially registered in Colorado and Oregon, “though it is unclear if one or both of those companies are controlled by South Park personnel or if they were simply inspired by the show.”
[Image: Comedy Central]
In any event, presuming Stone and Parker truly mean canna-business when it comes Tegridy, it sounds like they’ll have plenty of support from Colorado lawmakers. Last week, the pair were presented with souvenir Tegridy Farms license plates from none other than Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who spoke glowingly about South Park and gave his endorsement for the show’s cannabis-loving anthropomorphic towel character, Towlie, to serve as a mascot for the state.
The meeting between Parker, Stone, and Polis followed an auction held in April in which an actual, DMV-approved Tegridy Farms license plate was auctioned off as part of a cannabis-focused charity effort. Also available as part of the same auction were vanity plates bearing weed-friendly phrases like “BONG” and “ISIT420.”
According to Polis, the Tegridy plate netted a $5,000 top bid, making it second only to “ISIT420” in terms of the auction items to fetch the highest sum.
As details on a true-life Tegridy Farms continue to trickle out, Stone and Parker have found another way to spend some of their new fortune – by buying the Colorado restaurant Casa Bonita. Also featured in multiple episodes of South Park, the real-life Case Bonita – which Parker and Stone frequented in their youth – was in dire straits after its parent company filed for Chapter 11 protection in April.
The family-friendly eatery, which has been referred to as “the Disneyland of Mexican restaurants,” features an iconic waterfall, cliff divers, roving Mariachi bands, and more. It’s also been closed due to Covid-19 since March 2020, making the timing of the purchase all the more fortuitous.
But it also suggests that when Parker and Stone say they’re going to take the leap of making Tegridy Farms an honest-to-goodness cannabis company, they aren’t joking.
Trying to imagine what exactly operations for such a business would look like, especially given South Park’s explicit distaste for the mechanisms of corporate cannabis, is difficult. While they won’t have a Randy Marsh to hire in the real-world, it will be fascinating to see if their small-screen morals translate to real-life integrity when it comes to how Tegridy Farms chooses to conduct itself.
Given the prevalence of cross-branding in the industry — strains affixed with a celebrity name despite virtually no input or effort on the famed person’s behalf — it’s also possible the whole thing may turn out to be nothing more than an elaborate branding gimmick. But given the amount of time South Park has already spent sneering at such efforts, such a choice would represent a level of irony rich even for the creators of a show built on a formula of calling out contradictions.