In this comedy thriller, set in northern California, inept but lovable pot farmers Jack Madsen (Billy Bob Thornton) and Carter (Hank Azaria) work for San Francisco entrepreneur Malcolm Stockman (John Lithgow), who arrives for a visit via copter. As soon as Malcolm steps out, the copter pilot shoots him and takes off, leaving the two aghast along with apprentice Harlan (Ryan Phillippe). Minus a boss, the naive trio deduces no paychecks are forthcoming, so they collect cannabis for a big payoff and head to the nearby town where they meet up with go-between Lucy (Kelly Lynch). However, their explanations of Malcolm's whereabouts and their sudden need to sell some of the crop arouse suspicions, while their lazy days on the dope farm have left them unprepared as businessmen seeking buyers for millions in contraband. They soon find themselves in a shadowy new world of greed, paranoia, and duplicity.