HOUSE WEED: REBRANDING HERB ON A BUDGET

The term “house weed” is generally applied to generic, basic, inexpensive cannabis that a dispensary offers patients and customers (usually in joint form) as part of a premium or first-time customer bonus. One dispensary manager gave me a house joint “on the house” in recognition of a review I posted about his store. I graciously accepted the gesture, but I’ve put the joint aside as an absolute last resort should the home stash run dry. At a time that so many different strains and varieties of cannabis products are readily available, many with potencies twice, three times and in some cases, four times as high as even the dankest flower you’ll find on dispensary shelves, we’re left to wonder why, with so many effective options, would any cannabis user even want “house weed”?

Their simple, generic stylized packaging & logo

At my most recent dispensary visit, just yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a brand that totally redefined the ubiquitous “house weed” epithet by turning it from a negative to a positive. By crafting a stylized trademark and simple packaging design with a recognizably generic font in bright red that pops out against a white background, they’ve transformed the notion of boring, inert “house weed” into a viable cannabis brand of the same name. Their packaging is utilitarian, with a functional simplicity consistent across all of its products. For flower in gram and eighth sizes, and for shatter, a branded ziplock pouch is used while a branded jar houses full ounces.

The company produces at least 5 shatter strains (photo: Instagram)

I purchased two half grams of House Weed shatter, Berry Kush, an indica, and Slymer, an indica-dominant hybrid, each packaged in one of House Weed’s signature ziplock pouches. Although it has positively transformed the idea signified by the term, House Weed has not changed a key conceptual old school “house weed” element: affordability. The local dispensary where I discovered the House Weed brand charges ten dollars per half gram of shatter! This isn’t only a fantastic price vis a vis affordability, but it suggests that maybe (please let it be so), the price of quality, tested, safe, labeled and packaged extracts is starting to settle down. The shatter strains I purchased are solid and effective, with THC percentages in the 60s, yielding a robust potency at a reasonable price. House Weed products are available at select dispensaries throughout the sunshine state and some of these storefronts are indicated on the company’s website. My local dispensary isn’t listed, however, so consumers will need to consult individual dispensary menus to be certain.

House Weed are the first brand I’ve seen package full ounces in jars

House Weed’s internet presence sadly hasn’t kept pace with the company’s growth: the only products listed are sativa, indica and hybrid flower packaged by the gram, eighth or ounce. Their website fails to list available strains and doesn’t mention shatter at all, a deficiency they really ought to correct. Their Instagram feed is similarly lacking in product promotion. Elsewhere on the web, I’ve found images of Blue Dream, Cherry OG, and GG4 shatter. The cannabis delivery service Greenrush carries House Weed flower strains including Cherry OG, Cookies, Purple AK and Cherry AK. In addition to the above-listed varieties of House Weed shatter, Greenrush lists one additional strain, Gelato, and also features House Weed prerolls that come in packs of five. Preroll strains include Pink Cookies and OG Kush. Why aren’t any of these listed on House Weed’s website?

House Weed buds are trichome laden and THC rich (photo: Instagram)

The House Weed brand name is both a play on the term for generic, bargain basement herb and a reference to “house parties”, where kids gather to hang out, listen to music, smoke ganja and have a good time. House Weed wants its customers to view the brand as a connection to those free-flowing, anything goes teenaged weekenders of their youth. Their website contains the company’s mission statement which playfully renders and reframes the consumer’s sense of nostalgia and youthful memories. The House Weed brand, in the words of its purveyors, is “inspired by the good old days of house parties, bumping jams from your boombox, DJ battles, and dub bags,” which they simplify and sum up with a bold affirmation that “HW is the dopeness.” I can attest that their Slymer shatter is, in fact, “the dopeness”.

Flavor brand crumble wax retails for about $15/half-gram

House Weed isn’t the only brand staking a claim to budget-friendly cannabis extracts and related products. I’ve written previously about the Flavor brand which is sold at local dispensaries. Flavor is also reasonably priced, its half-gram crumble retailing for $15, and makes fragrant and potent live resin sugars. Both House Weed and Flavor are owned by the Salinas, California based Indus Holding Company, yet they compete with each other for concentrate-purchasing consumers. The main difference between the two is that Flavor manufactures crumble, live resin sugar and shatter, while House Weed produces the items mentioned above, the only overlap being shatter. Flavor products have largely faded from my local dispensary shelves (their crumble is all I tend to see anymore), and doesn’t seem to have a web presence, so it is hard to know in which direction the company is headed. In the interim, House Weed provides affordable, potent alternatives in a variety of strains. Ask for House Weed products at your local dispensary or consult the company’s website and you, too, will feel the nostalgic and money-saving rush of a house party on a budget.

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