‘Kid Cannabis’ Who Smuggled $38 million Worth of Pot Was From Idaho
Kid Cannabis is a 2014 film about a 19-year-old high school dropout who smuggled millions of dollars worth of marijuana across the Canadian border. It's based on the true story of Nate Norman which happened right here in Idaho.
The story is a wild one and sort of reminds me of Scarface; Norman being the teenaged white boy version of Tony Montana. Nate Norman's origin story begins with him working at a Pizza Hut in Coeur D’Alene in the early 2000s before he first came up with his million-dollar, marijuana-smuggling idea. Classmates referred to Nate being a baby-faced chubby kid who often got picked on and called the Keebler Elf.
Nate smoked weed himself and got his supply from a guy in Spokane, WA. With the Canadian border just being an hour north, it wasn't long before Nate had realized how easy it would be for him to go there himself and bring back what is generically known as "B.C. Bud."
One day Nate and his friend Topher decided to make the trip to the border. They ended up meeting a random guy at a bar once they got on the other side and bought a pound of weed from him for $1400. While Nate drove back to Idaho, Topher smuggled the weed on foot via a 7 mile hike through the thick forests.
It didn't take long before these business trips to Canada became a regular thing for Nate and Topher. Their strategy to "buy low, sell high and eliminate the middleman" was working. When their operation was at its height, it included at least 32 people who were making 4-6 runs a month bringing in as much as $400,000 a run. Pretty soon they were running bringing in thousands of dollars a day running a multimillion-dollar marijuana ring
"Our plan was to make 3 million and get out," Topher said to Rolling Stone. "When you crunch the numbers, that’s nothing. We figured out we could do it in fourteen months. But when you’re making twenty or thirty grand a week, why the f*ck would you stop?” Nate and Topher and all of their friends drove expensive luxury cars, had hot girlfriends and owned fancy houses on the lake. They had more money than they could dream of.
You're probably wondering where the Coeur D’Alene police were while of this was happening. Busting meth labs actually is the answer to that! Coeur D’Alene police claim to have known about Nate and his operation but they we too busy to bother with pot dealers when the town was ramped with meth heads.
Just as quickly as it started, their lavish drug dealing lifestyles would soon come to an end following the death Brenden Butler who was considered competition and who was also just as possessed by his ambitions as Nate had became, if not more. Butler had hired a hit man to rob and kill Nate. Unfortunately for Butler, his own hitman had turned and murdered him. That's when police started tracking Nate Norman.
Nate, Topher, and the rest of their crew were planning to leave town early the next day but the U-Haul out front gave it away. Policed busted in seizing guns, cash, marijuana and computers. At the end of everything, fourteen arrests were made and the suspects were accused of moving at least seven tons of marijuana worth $38 million. Nate Norman, deemed ringleader, pleaded guilty to 5 of the 59 counts against him and received a twelve-year sentence.
Today Nate owns a heating, ventilation and air conditioning business and has a family. Michael 'Topher' Clark unfortunately suffered a different fate was recently shot and killed in a shooting in town of Hayden in 2019.