product review:

Not so hot boxing

Photo credit: Travis Lane

The legal cannabis industry experienced early struggles on many fronts, from quality to supply chain to price. One thing that has not been a struggle is finding celebrity names to associate with the weed grown by bigger cannabis corporations.

When Snoop Dogg, or Martha Stewart, or Gene Simmons pops up as a celeb endorser, I react with thorough indifference. (Okay, there might have been some minor disgust when Gene Simmons was named “chief evangelist officer” for Invictus MD).

I typically see these endorsements as plain old, corporate bullshit. The famous get paid for what amounts to nothing more than an association, which can help corporations tap into purchasers who buy into celebrity culture. It is everywhere, so why not cannabis?

When Seth Rogen announced he would be launching his own cannabis brand, however, it hit a bit closer to home.

I grew up in Vancouver. In high school, I bounced around from school to school because I kept getting kicked out. I experimented with drugs as a teen, and got involved in cannabis business pursuits quite young.

I was a couple of years ahead of Rogen, so I don’t remember ever meeting or talking to him, but we attended the same high school for a little while, and apparently had some mutual weed acquaintances. For some reason, this regional connection heightened my expectations for the potential of his brand.

Of course, when I found out he was going to be working with Canopy Growth Corporation, those expectations were seriously tempered.

Rogen’s brand, which he co-founded with his longtime business partner Evan Goldberg, is called Houseplant. I like the name, but that seemed to be the best part of the brand from what I’d heard and seen so far.

Photo credit: Travis Lane

Getting the weed

Houseplant was part of my second order from BC Cannabis Stores’ online platform. I ordered the first on day one of the site being live (in 2018), so it had been a while.

I ordered four different dry flower products and my first legal edibles. I wanted to try some cannabis infused drinks too, but they were sold out.

It cost $39.99 for an eighth of Houseplant Sativa (the product line also sells Indica and Hybrid varieties). I placed the order on a Monday, and it landed on the following Friday. Actually, a notice to pick it up at the post office arrived on Friday, so I picked it up early the next week, meaning it took a week from order to product arrival.

It seems to me that this is longer than ideal, but that is not a big deal for me. It is slower than most illicit online services.

Photo credit: Travis Lane

Everything but smoke

The packaging of this product was just absurd. What made anyone think that this huge box was a good idea? Wasteful, annoying, and adding no value, it is a cardboard box several times the size of the container inside, with a second box inside to hold the small plastic jar in place. It doesn't look good and serves no purpose. I don’t get it.

Needless to say, my immediate impressions were not awesome.

The product is called “Houseplant Sativa”, but the cultivar is supposed to be Chemdog. While the sativa and indica categorization method is not reliable, Chemdog is a world-famous cultivar (or three, really) that I have never seen referred to as a sativa anywhere.

It smelled nothing like any of the Chem I have smoked or grown myself. There are three prominent cuts: Chem 91 (the gassy original and purported ancestor of both OG Kush and Sour Diesel) Chem D (which stinks kind of like gas and dirty socks and rotten onions), and Chem 4 (which carries a more citrus aroma, but still has the Chem "funk").

This Houseplant version smelled like hay and carrots—no Chem funk there. It looked pretty awful, too, and it was bone dry. Ugh.

Photo credit: Travis Lane

Smoke

It smoked better than expected based on my impressions above, but it wasn't actually all that pleasant.

It tasted a bit like green onions and celery to me. It burned fine, leaving a white ash, but left a bit of a stale grassy taste behind, like the way a lawn mower bag smells.

The effects were actually pleasant, though. It was stoney and smiley. I wouldn’t call it uplifting, but I enjoyed it.

Overall, it is okay. I would call this the bottom of the borderline acceptable range, or "low mids" in the parlance of the illicit market, but it wasn’t a total bust.

Photo credit: Travis Lane

Sativa by Houseplant

6.8/17

Conclusion

So much weirdness. From the packaging, to referring to Chemdog as a sativa, to not smelling like Chemdog, to the dryness of the bud, the build-up was bad. It smoked okay, and the nice effects saved it from an even worse score.