Dark harvest (2016) - review

Luke Sholl

Dark Harvest is an award-winning movie revolving around cannabis consumption, dealing, and the underground predicament of the parties involved.

Starring: James Hutson, A.C. Peterson, Cheech Marin
Directed by: James Huson
Genre: Crime, drama, thriller
Initial release: September 2, 2016

Dark Harvest (2016) - Review

Stoner movies and television series involving the consumption and distribution of our beloved herb are customarily stereotypical and played-out. The movie “Dark Harvest” takes a more morose, intense approach to the marijuana film cliché.


Surprisingly Cheech Marin, the legend who comprised one half of the Cheech and Chong duo, decided to enter the film scene after 33 years with this film, starring as one of the movie’s main characters.

After his long run of making hilarious stoner movies with his buddy Tommy Chong, Cheech Marin has mainly been busy acting in TV shows such as Nash Bridges and Lost, and doing voices for animation movies such as Cars and the recent hit Coco.

It's definitely interesting to see Cheech returning to the silver screen in a more serious weed related movie, the opposite of his early stoner days.

James Hutson is the engine and fuel behind this movie. He’s the director, writer, one of the producers, and stars as the protagonist of the movie. He tried to create this movie with four friends, however, it didn’t go as expected and they closed the project.

A year later he regrouped, smoked some dope, got ahold of Cheech, and magic started happening. Dark Harvest was first screened on 2 September, 2016 at the Portland Film Festival where it actually won the award for best picture and now finally the movie got a distribution deal for 2018.


The plot of the movie revolves around Carter Holmes (James Hutson). His friend gets murdered on the eve of marijuana's legalization. He teams up with Bernie (A.C. Peterson), an excommunicated DEA agent, to find the source of his friend’s murder.

There’s a moral difference between them that creates some heavy suspense. Ricardo (Cheech) advises Carter on the moves he ought to take. There’s heaps of real weed in the movie, which is quite refreshing considering the restrictions placed on most cannabis-centric movies.

Instead of yo-dude jokes, this movie depicts real life situations involving illicit, “grey area,” and legal landscapes of marijuana in the US.

Dark Harvest might be the first movie that presents the “real” toils of the underground marijuana scene today. As the laws continually update, those in the illicit market are forced reconsider their tactics as well.


It is pretty hard to come up with anything really bad, as it is actually quite a good movie! Maybe not as good as some of the major Hollywood productions with big names and even bigger budgets, but the movie holds pretty well and keeps you entertained from the beginning to the end.

We could say that it does make you thing wether the whole cannabis subject was just an excuse to make an action movie and that it’s maybe a bit exaggerated from time to time.


In the wave of new cannabis related movies and TV shows in the last few years, Dark Harvest is actually a breath of fresh air.

When it will hit the cinema in the coming year, we do advice you to check it out, even if it’s just to see Cheech on the silver screen again.

Luke Sholl
Luke Sholl

Fascinated by the wellness potential of nature, Luke has spent over a decade writing about cannabis and its vast selection of cannabinoids. Creating, researching and writing content for Cannaconnection, alongside several other industry-related publications, he uses strong technical SEO skills and diligent research to bring evidence-based material to thousands of unique visitors.