In light of recent changes in both the legal and social environment surrounding the consumption and sale of cannabis, several pop culture figures have taken advantage of the opportunity to release new lines of marijuana strains and related products. Among these individuals is Russ, a rapper who has collaborated with the popular West Coast cannabis company Wonderbrett, to release an original strain. Additionally, actor and comedian Seth Rogen has contributed to the industry by creating a new line of marijuana strains and stoner-friendly home goods. One might argue that events such as these, in which well-known and arguably well-liked public figures actively participate in an industry that was once a site of clandestine activity due to legal boundaries, contribute to a growing acceptance of the concept that marijuana can be used safely and in a beneficial manner.
Due to the historical connection between hip hop and cannabis culture, it is seldom surprising when a rapper decides to enter the industry. This is especially true in light of recent changes in legalization, which significantly reduces the likelihood of legal consequences or social backlash concerning this business move. The latest example of this type of entrepreneur is Russ, who has partnered with Wonderbrett to create a product line specifically designed for individuals who create music. The artist had wanted to become involved in the cannabis industry for some time but was waiting for the perfect partner to present themselves. This search for the ideal business partner came in the form of Wonderbrett, a well-known cannabis company on the West Coast. The rapper cites the tastefulness and creativity of the company, along with the freedom to create a strain that was organic and true to himself, as reasons for choosing to collaborate with Wonderbrett.
The new product line, CHOMP, a name that the brand shared with Russ’s most recent EP, is based around the artist’s personal preferences for a marijuana strain. Russ states while being interviewed about the new product line, “I’m not a heavy smoker who’s just gonna sit around and smoke all day. I like to smoke in the studio, but that’s about it. So crafting this was more about something that's not gonna hinder the creative process or slow down my thoughts in a way”. Additionally, he suggests that consumers who create music should try pairing the strain with their time in the studio for optimal benefits.
Although many figures in popular culture might choose to attach their name to a product without making an effort to participate in its creation or ensure that they enjoy it themselves, co-founder and master cultivator at Wonderbrett, Brett Feldman, assures consumers that this is not the case as regards the strain used in Russ’s product line. In an emailed statement to Forbes, Feldman notes the dedication the musician demonstrated throughout the year-long process of pheno hunting and making the custom strain, which is a cross between Cookies & Cream and OZK. The CHOMP line includes 1/8 oz. packages of flower and pre-rolls.
Another prominent celebrity who has chosen to dip their toes into the cannabis industry is Seth Rogen who, along with screenwriter and director Evan Goldberg, has released a new brand of marijuana strains and cannabis-adjacent home goods called Houseplant. The new brand includes cannabis strains available for delivery in California and home goods that include ashtrays and lighters. Other individuals involved in the creation and production of these products include members of Rogen and Goldberg’s Grey Point Pictures James Weaver and Alex McAtee. Additionally, venture investor Michael Mohr is heading the company as CEO.
Upon being released on March 11th, the high volume of traffic to the brand’s website, houseplant.com, led the site to crash only an hour after being published. The Houseplant brand consists of three strains of cannabis as well as a variety of home goods designed with stoners in mind. The three strains of flower developed for the product line boast a high percentage of THC. The two sativa strains, Diablo Wind and Pancake Ice contain 26.29% and 33.32% THC respectively, while Pink Moon, an indica strain, contains 26.45%. The company suggests that retailers price one 1/8 oz. package of Houseplant cannabis at $60. However, at present Houseplant brand marijuana is only available to consumers in the state of California. However, cannabis aficionados across America have the opportunity to purchase the company’s line of home goods. Among these products is several lighters, an earthenware set that includes a vase and an ashtray personally designed by Seth Rogen, and a set of three vinyl records specifically curated to enhance the effects of indica, sativa, and hybrid strains respectively.
While the founders of this company have expressed their deep love for cannabis and their commitment to serving the stoner community, they have also expressed that they feel a sense of responsibility for the mending of certain social impacts wrought by the American war on drugs. For example, Rogen and Goldberg have discussed that they plan to launch a mentorship program for “underserved entrepreneurs” called InHouse. They have also publicly expressed support for drug policy reform organizations.
In an email to CNN, Mohr elaborated on the motivation for creating the company, stating that Houseplant’s founders “have a long history of enjoying cannabis and believe it should be treated with the reverence it deserves.” He also noted that Rogen and Goldberg have demonstrated through their successful careers while consuming the plant that it is possible to have a healthy relationship with the plant and experience a variety of positive changes in quality of life through cannabis use. This message mirrors one that has long been growing among the American public as several states have legalized recreational cannabis use. In light of these changes to the legal status of marijuana, and the fact that public figures such as Russ and Seth Rogen support and participate in the cannabis industry, one might argue that the social status of the plant is also changing. These shifts in cultural conceptualizations regarding the topic have the potential to highlight the possibility of using cannabis products in a safe, healthy, and positive manner for a wide variety of individuals.
Forbes article about Russ’s product line: https://www.forbes.com/sites/javierhasse/2021/03/29/rappers-tory-lanez-russ-each-launch-their-own-cannabis-products/?sh=7dd6f80f400e
CNN article about Seth Rogen’s brand, Houseplant: https://www.cnn.com/style/article/seth-rogen-houseplant-cannabis-us/index.html
Supplementary article discussing the strains offered by Houseplant: https://www.leafly.com/news/strains-products/seth-rogen-houseplant-review-pancake-ice#:~:text=Rogen%20and%20Goldberg%20launched%20Houseplant,Pink%20Moon%2C%20dubbed%20an%20indica.
Houseplant website: https://www.houseplant.com/