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Feeding the need
FOR WEED

Illustrations by Michelle Thompson

Forget the outdated pothead clichés, marijuana has
become a multi-million pound lifestyle industry, with
Seth Rogen’s Houseplant — the Goop of weed —
leading the charge. Leonie Cooper reports

In a natty mohair cardigan made by dapper Japanese brand Needles and 1970s-style specs, actor, screenwriter and director Seth Rogen is beaming gleefully into his camera phone. ‘This is my life’s work, and I’ve never been more excited about anything,’ he explains in a video shared with his nine million Twitter followers.

He’s not talking about a new movie project, rather the US weed industry’s biggest and buzziest launch of 2021. Founded in Rogen’s native Canada by the 38-year-old film star and his movie-making partner, Evan Goldberg, also 38, Houseplant might just be Rogen’s most savvy business move yet, placing him at the head of an elite pack of celebrity marijuana millionaires.

An online cannabis store, Houseplant sells two kinds of specially selected weed, at a pricey $60 (£44) for an eighth (3.5 grams), plus a range of must-have homewares with a slick, mid-century modern aesthetic, including a £200 green marble lighter and box sets of vinyl to listen to while you get high. Rogen has personally sampled each strain — which might explain all that grinning. Initially only available north of the US border, the website launched in California last month, promptly crashing under the weight of interest. At the time of writing, everything was sold out.

While Rogen’s British followers can only admire the produce from afar, recreational marijuana is now legal across Canada and in 15 US states — New York joined the growing ranks on 31 March — and the American weed industry is huge business. As well as online retailers such as Houseplant, bricks and mortar stores are becoming as common as a branch of Walmart.

“If you follow Rogen on social media, this pothead-to-potter pivot should come as no surprise”

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“I cannot walk into a meeting with Anna Wintour and say, “I’m going to be unavailable because I’m starting a weed business” — they’ll never let me back in the building!”

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“It’s this thoughtful, mature take on the industry that makes Rogen’s new business stand out, not just those charming ashtrays”

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