Helmer raises ‘Cannabis’

HBO Films will produce with Stockwell and Rocklin

John Stockwell will adapt and direct “Kid Cannabis,” based on the real-life story of young Idaho suburbanites who built a multimillion-dollar marijuana ring.

HBO Films will produce with Stockwell and Nicole Rocklin.

Stockwell (“Into the Blue,” “Blue Crush”) brought the project to HBO, who optioned several articles about the illicit ring, including the 2005 Rolling Stone piece “Kid Cannabis: How a Chubby Pizza-Delivery Boy from Idaho Became a Drug Kingpin” by contributing editor Mark Binelli.

Binelli’s article focused on Nate Norman, a 19-year-old from Coeur D’Alene who ran the operation with six friends. By the time they got arrested, they had sold $38 million worth of marijuana smuggled from British Columbia.

Stockwell, who is penning the script, will rely on Kevin Taylor’s article “Dreaming in Green.”

“I had been looking to do something in this realm that didn’t involve minorities or urban drug dealers. These were all white, suburban kids with no criminal records. Nate Norman had been a pizza-delivery boy. Another worked at an amusement park,” Stockwell told Daily Variety. “They managed to transform themselves from minimum-wage workers to drug lords.”

Stockwell said he has just returned from visiting Norman in federal prison, where the latter is serving a 12-year sentence.

HBO Films will likely feed the pic to sister company Picturehouse to distribute, but those plans have not been set.

Stockwell is in post-production on “Turistas,” which he directed for Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban’s 2929 Prods.