Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg on Weed, Amnesty and 10.17

Their movies, films like Superbad, Pineapple Express,Knocked Up and This Is The End, helped normalize cannabis in the mainstream and the friendship between Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg has withstood 20-odd years (and countless jokes and joints). Today, the Canadians behind the Houseplant cannabis line, talk to kind about friendship and stigma, pre-rolls and beverages, and—on the second anniversary of the end of prohibition—what a just, legal Canadian system should be.
  • BK: Why did you choose Houseplant as the name of your brand? Do either of you misanthropes have a green thumb?

    SR: I definitely do and have been a big gardener for years. Mostly, we loved the positive and warm connotation that houseplants have for people. You give them as gifts. You nurture them and they nurture you back. Everyone is happy when they get a houseplant.

  • BK: October 17 marks the second anniversary of cannabis legalization in Canada. How proud are you of your country?

    EG: We’re incredibly proud. Canada is the first major industrial nation in the world to federally legalize cannabis, and every country in the world should follow in its path. However, all of us involved in cannabis—individuals, legal teams, politicians and non-profits - need to step up and help those unjustly incarcerated, and to address racial injustices that have existed around cannabis-related arrests and incarcerations. In Canada, the government had estimated that 10,000 people could be eligible for a free pardon for simple pot possession. You know how many have been granted so far? 257.

  • BK: What still needs to be done to really make the end of prohibition a success?

    SR: So far, the regulations are wildly expansive and difficult to comply with, and they’ve made it that it’s incredibly difficult to go from having an illegal cannabis business to a legal one. If the goal is really to kill the illicit market and have weed be closer to alcohol, there’s a long road to travel. There’s a reason that there isn't a huge illegal alcohol industry anymore: there’s no incentive for there to be one. They’ve made it easy to sell legal alcohol, and the same should be said with cannabis, but currently, that is not the case.

  • BK: I’m going to open a Houseplant Grapefruit while writing this question. What is it about these products that you love?

    SR: We drink sparkling water all day every day, and we thought “what if this had weed in it?” We were passionate about creating a delicious, guilt free (no sugar and almost no calories) option for people who love to drink things and don’t want to wake up feeling like shit the next morning.

  • BK: What’s next for the line? Where do you see great legal Canadian cannabis heading?

    EG: We’d love to produce more beverage flavours, and explore new strains of cannabis.

  • BK: How involved are each of you with the brand? If I open a sativa pre-roll, can you vouch that I will not be smoking schwaggy, seedy weed?

    SR: As one of the founders of the company, I’m incredibly involved in every aspect of the brand. Speaking of pre-rolls, I remember buying and dissecting every pre-roll on the Canadian market to see what was working and what wasn’t. We use the same flower in our pre-rolls as our jars, and we found that two smaller half gram joints smoked much better than one big gram joint.

  • BK: Houseplant Grapefruit seems to be working wonders. What’s the origin of this recipe? Is there a backstory you can share?

    EG: Seth loves grapefruit sparkling water and I love lemon sparkling water. We both love being high. And we both hate sugary drinks and unnecessary crap in our drinks. Canopy’s unique emulsion process to make Houseplant beverages is unlike anything else on the market.

All of us involved in cannabis need to address racial injustices that have existed around cannabis-related arrests and incarcerations.
  • BK: How has cannabis played a role in your friendship, a longstanding lovefest from blockbuster films to a company making a grapefruit cannabis-infused drink getting me high?

    SR: I smoke weed all day every day and have for the last 20 years. It’s an intrinsic part of my day to day functionality. It’s been a true inspiration to me in a lot of ways, and over the years, we’ve found that if we sit down and really try to put more thought into the space than anyone else, we can accomplish great things. We have a vision for where we think cannabis should go, and the beverages were a part of that vision.

  • BK: Lastly, some of your stuff, most of it, actually, features cannabis, and now it’s legal in Canada. Do you think your films helped usher in the end of the demise of 100 years of prohibition? And thanks for doing that, eh?

    EG: If anything, we hope we helped break some of the stigmas associated with cannabis. That it makes you lazy, stupid, unproductive, unemotional, forgetful—literally we’ve found none of that to be true. We’ve always been proud that we smoke weed, and sunlight is the best disinfectant. So If anything, we hope we added to a truer narrative about weed.