Seth Rogen and four friends-turned-co-founders have been building a weed company for close to ten years, and its products are now available in the United States. The company’s house goods will be available through its website and select dispensaries in Los Angeles will carry Houseplant’s three strains of cannabis.
Nearly every smoker has been there: Deep into a sesh with friends, someone has an idea of starting a weed company. It sounds great in the haze, but the idea fizzles as the high fades. That was ten years ago for co-founders Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Yeah, the same Seth and Evan who starred in and produced some of the last decade’s best comedies. Together they launched Houseplant by teamed up with friends Michael Mohr, Alex Mcatee, and James Weaver and hired Melissa Greenberg as Chief Consumer Officer and Haneen Davies as Chief Commercial Officer.
Called Houseplant, the brand started in Canada in 2019 and launching today in the United States with three weed strains and a collection of design-first house goods.
Houseplant’s CEO Michael Mohr spoke to TechCrunch ahead of Houseplant’s US launch. He explains Houseplant sees itself as able to rise above competitors because its co-founders live the life they’re trying to sell. And to this company, success is not defined by just a financial windfall.
Mohr explains that he’s surprised at how little attention is given to social responsibility and impact within the cannabis industry. The company set up extensive social impact programs that to address three areas: education and advocacy, community empowerment and economic opportunity, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. They are also working with organizations addressing criminal justice and drug policy reform.
“[Houseplant] we recognize the issues,” Mohr said, “We recognize our advantages and our privilege. And we define our success not just financially, but we also grade ourselves on the impact that we’re able to make.”
Mohr pushes back that Houseplant is just another celebrity branding play. He explained that Rogen and Goldberg have shown they can authentically communicate a cannabis lifestyle because that’s how they live.
“[Rogen and Goldberg] put more thought into the cannabis products and the surrounding lifestyle than anyone else because that’s the life they live,” Mohr said. “And it’s through that personal experience we can create a line of house goods that are immediately well received by the cannabis community and the design community.”
As Mohr spoke, the vision became more apparent. Houseplant sees itself as having the potential to be a top-tier cannabis brand and not a side project for some celebrities.
“This industry needs brands that can bring trust and awareness to the space,” Mohr said. “It’s more than using [Rogen and Goldberg’s] name. It’s using their expertise to accomplish the goal and deliver an experience to consumers across the country.”
These claims are easily verified. Look at Seth Rogen’s Twitter account. Over the last week, he’s tweeted several times about Houseplant’s launch, teasing products and showing off the company’s hand-selected strains. Rogen’s enthusiasm is contagious. In one three-minute video, Rogen sits behind a pottery wheel and shows off some excellent pottery skills. In another, he dances (kind of) to a track from a set of vinyl records Houseplant sells. These videos have been viewed millions of times.
Houseplant sees an opportunity to create a friendly cannabis brand. CEO Mohr looks to Apple for inspiration, explaining he hopes Houseplant does for cannabis what Apple did for computers and smartphones by turning an intimidating product into something everyone can use.
The company has three product lines, two of which are available in the States: cannabis flower and THC-infused beverages and a line of house goods appropriately called Housegoods. Eventually, Houseplant will release two Housegoods products a month, which will be sold directly to consumers through its website. The beverages are only available in Canada.
The flower is hand-selected and includes three strains: two Sativa strains and one indica strain. All test high and come from California growers. Pink Moon is an Indica strain, crossed from Tangie and Kosher Kush, and results in a euphoric and creative high without the lively effects of a Sativa. The two Sativa strains claim to result in different effects. Diablo Wind is a cross of Jack Here and G13 Haze for a soaring, cerebral, and euphoric high. Pancake Ice is a cross of Chem Dawg, I-95, and Mandarin Cookies. Rogen tweeted twice he smokes this strain all day. The company says Pancake Ice results in a serene and pleasant body high that is not sedating.
The house goods portion of Houseplant has the same gas found in its weed. These products are uniquely suited for cannabis consumers yet are interesting enough for purchase by anyone. The ashtray even comes with a matching flower vase. Ashtray Set By Seth, as it’s called, retails for $85 and is inspired by Rogen’s new-found love for pottery (which he has been very vocal about on social media). The Block Lighter costs $220 and is clearly designed never to be lost like other lighters. Lastly, Houseplant sells a box set of vinyl records intended to be played with certain strains — you know, a playlist but in real life.
Despite the small line of products, the company seems poised to impact the growing cannabis market.
Houseplant is funded in the US by its five co-founders. CEO Mohr tells TechCrunch they have not taken any outside investment yet.
To launch Houseplant in Canada in 2019, the company partnered with cannabis giant Canopy Growth Corp. Out of this deal, the company brought to market a line of cannabis strains and THC-infused beverages. Canopy Growth is not part of the United States launch.