After summiting the stoner comedy genre with movies like “Pineapple Express” and “This is the End,” actor Seth Rogen and screenwriter-director Evan Goldberg have set their sights on the US cannabis market.
On March 11, the duo will launch their cannabis lifestyle brand Houseplant, with home goods including ashtrays and lighters shipping across the country, and strains of cannabis available for delivery in California to start. Their co-founders include producers James Weaver and Alex McAtee — who are part of Rogen and Goldberg’s studio, Point Grey Pictures — as well as venture investor Michael Mohr, who is heading Houseplant as CEO.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are bringing their cannabis lifestyle brand Houseplant to the US, around two years after it debuted in Canada. Credit: Courtesy of Houseplant
“Our founders have a long history enjoying cannabis and believe it should be treated with the reverence it deserves,” said Mohr over email. “Through their film work, and the pride with which they speak about cannabis publicly, Seth and Evan have shown the world that not only does the potential exist to have a healthy relationship with cannabis, it is also very normal, and can have an amazingly positive impact on one’s life.”
The ashtray set was designed by Rogen and features a rest for one’s smoking apparatus, a saucer to hold a lighter and a matching earthenware vase. Houseplant’s products are meant to be displayed in the home. Credit: Peter Novosel/Courtesy of Houseplant
Despite its lucrative market potential, marijuana has yet to be legalized in all 50 states. Cannabis is still classified by the country’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule I drug — with “the highest potential for abuse,” and “no currently accepted medical use.”
Houseplant joins a growing number of cannabis brands using design to transform the image of smoking from a closed-door habit to an integral part of one’s lifestyle.
“Houseplant was born out of our love and passion for cannabis, design and art,” Rogen said in a press statement.
The block table lighter has a lid that can be used as an ashtray and a notch to hold a smoking device. Credit: Peter Novosel/Courtesy of Houseplant
In the coffee-table book “High on Design” published last year, editor Anja Charbonneau of cannabis culture magazine Broccoli writes on the seismic shift seen over the past decade. “The creatives behind these efforts envisioned a weed culture…the same way one might approach coffee, wine, or other handcrafted goods in an accessible way,” she said. “They created objects meant to be seen and enjoyed, not hidden away.”
The vinyl record set comes with three albums: “Sativa Session,” “Indica Session” and “Hybrid Session.” Credit: Peter Novosel/Courtesy of Houseplant
Mohr echoes that sentiment. “Our design ethos is centered around the idea of bringing cannabis out from its various hiding places and instead proudly displaying it in one’s home,” he said. “We saw a void in the market for beautiful, thoughtfully designed objects for people who enjoy cannabis and saw an opportunity to create something special.”
An equity gap
Houseplant will offer smoking-related home goods around the U.S. as well as marijuana delivery service in California. Credit: Peter Novosel/Courtesy of Houseplant
“The war on drugs destroyed so many families. We should at least get to come out on the other end and create some wealth out of it. But it’s not gonna happen the way this is going,” she is quoted as saying.
Rogen and Goldberg — who will undoubtedly enter the market with the additional advantage of being celebrities — appear to recognize these disparities, and have announced a forthcoming mentorship program for “underserved entrepreneurs” called InHouse. They also publicly support drug policy reform organizations.
“Evan and I also recognize that our lifelong dream of starting a cannabis lifestyle brand like Houseplant comes with a commitment to changing the unjust and racist cannabis laws that still exist in today’s society,” Rogen said. “We understand our responsibility to help right those wrongs and are dedicated to creating a more diverse, equitable cannabis industry.”