Ever since the massive success of the film Pineapple Express in 2008, Seth Rogen has been known as one of Hollywood’s preeminent weed smokers. The flick is now a classic stoner comedy, but it was the reaction of audiences that showed Rogen and his writing and business partner, Evan Goldberg, that there was an untapped market of people who were interested in a more elevated marijuana culture—whether that means smarter jokes in the movies they watch, or higher quality accessories with which to smoke weed.
Fast forward almost 15 years, and Rogen and Goldberg are catering to those people with their company, Houseplant, which launched a line of cannabis in Canada in 2019 and expanded to the United States in 2021, adding a line of home goods geared towards smokers who really like nice things. (Houseplant marijuana is available in states where it is legal.)
The brand operates out of a 1918-built Los Angeles bungalow that Rogen shows off in a new YouTube video for AD. ”We did not set out to base Houseplant out of a house,” the comedian says at the start of the tour—but it makes perfect sense. “A lot of our products are home goods. We found that being able to see them in a home setting was invaluable.”
Indeed, Houseplant smoking accoutrements sit atop almost every piece of midcentury-modern furniture (including two green chairs taken from the set of Rogen’s 2013 film This Is the End) in the airy, open-concept, 1,522 square foot home. There are the ashtrays based on Rogen’s own pottery (including a brand new one modeled after the gloopy glazes he’s been experimenting with), a lighter and gas lamp made of marble, rolling trays that come with an ashtray and grinder, and even a combination lamp and ashtray. “This was something that was very intuitive. For years and years, I would look at an ashtray and a lamp sitting on my desk side by side. Two different things. And I thought, what if it was one thing?,” Rogen says.
Rogen says the company also has a more run-of-the-mill office space, but the bungalow provides his team with an additional place to test their products, something that is super important to them. ”I take everything home with me for months and months and months, and I use it to death,” Rogen says. While showing off a new standing ashtray modeled after ones common in the ’50s, ’60s, and into the ’70s (remember, even after the Surgeon General published a paper outlining the empirical link between cigarettes and cancer in 1964, aggressive advertising campaigns caused cigarette use and, therefore, stylish ashtray design to burn out slowly), Rogen explains that cleanability is one of the most important elements of a Houseplant design. “I actually use my ashtrays all the time, and having them be cleanable is something we probably talk about more than almost anything. Ad nauseam,” he says.
Vintage ashtrays are a big source of inspiration for Rogen, who says he and the Houseplant team “have one of the largest vintage ashtray collections in the world.” A small sample of orange, green, and yellow ones is displayed on open shelving in the Houseplant office. All shapes and sizes are represented, including hanging ashtrays, ones with deep wells (something Rogen appreciates for keeping ash hidden and contained), and shallow ones with beautiful designs. “A lot of them are Italian. Not surprisingly, Italians leaned into smoking with style,” says Rogen, who sees a renaissance of ashtray design on the horizon. “With the rise of weed and people smoking it more, ashtray ingenuity is on the rise once again.”