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So, maybe he’s not quite Vancouver’s favourite son—that title has to go to Ryan Reynolds. But ever since his breakout role in the 2005 hit The 40-Year-Old Virgin (produced by Judd Apatow, who gave Rogen his first TV role, in the one-season wonder Freaks and Geeks, in 1999), Rogen has been a Hollywood fixture. But he has moved well beyond acting—he’s now a successful writer, producer, entrepreneur and, oddly, a pretty excellent ceramicist, too.

Build on your brand

Does Rogen have a ton of range as an actor? Not really—he’s been playing the same lovable stoner forever. But he’s parlayed that schtick into a highly successful career, both as a leading man and as a writer/producer, along with his childhood bestie, Evan Goldberg—they’re behind hits like Superbad, The Boys, Preacher and Sausage Party. And what’s the next logical step for a guy who’s made his name as a cannabis enthusiast? Launching a cannabis brand called Houseplant, of course—which Rogen and Goldberg did in 2019. It has since expanded from Canada into California, and sells its housewares across the continent.

Find your person

Rogen and Goldberg famously met as kids in Vancouver, and they started writing the script for Superbad when they were 13. They’ve been BFFs and business partners ever since. Assembling the right team around you is crucial, but the last thing any entrepreneur needs is a group of yes men. Who better to keep your wilder notions in check than someone who’s known you since you were a spotty teen cracking bar mitzvah jokes?

Turn passion into profit

During the pandemic, Rogen discovered a love for ceramics—his Instagram videos showing off whimsical wares made in his garage pottery studio were a lockdown sensation. Houseplant now sells sake sets, vases, candles and, of course, ashtrays based on Rogen’s designs, alongside actual bud. He’s also the executive producer and guest judge of The Great Canadian Pottery Throw Down, a new CBC series that pits amateur potters against one another.

Know your audience

Despite the fact that roughly one-quarter of Canadians and 17% of Americans admit to using cannabis, the whiff of low-browdom lingers—think lava lamps and tie-dye. But just like oenophiles are willing to pay top dollar for crystal glassware, Rogen understands that many of today’s cannabis connoisseurs—including himself—crave high design for their grinders, rolling trays and other accoutrements. Houseplant’s premise is premium design meets high function. After all, as Houseplant puts it, “Who better to create products for people who love weed than people who love weed?”

Feel the need

Even if you’re selling something as seemingly simple as an ashtray for joints, it’s crucial to ask yourself what problem your product is solving for consumers. Not only do Rogen and Goldberg lovingly test each strain of cannabis Houseplant sells; they also test their housewares to death. “I actually use my ashtrays all the time,” Rogen has said, “and having them be cleanable is something we probably talk about more than almost anything—ad nauseam.”

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