“The legalization of marijuana is not a dangerous experiment – the prohibition is the experiment, and it has failed dramatically, with millions of victims all around the world.”― Sebastian Marincolo
The times are changing. As education is rampantly becoming accessible, it’s impossible to paint biases with the colors of propaganda and legislation. Cannabis was used as an excuse to wage war on African-Americans, Latin Americans, and later leftists. Today, as the overwhelming majority root for its federal legalization, the industry is growing, and it’s only a matter of time before it is embraced for the miraculous possibilities it offers– shares Henry Calix, an American entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Weedsies.
Born in Honduras, Henry came to the US when he was 12 years old. He grew up as an only child raised by his mother and had never met his father. After graduating high school in 2006, he attended Miami Dade College for two years while working at a local dry cleaner, his first job out of high school. Henry started his first business as a grant writing consultant but was forced to close it during the 2008 and 2009 recessions. In 2010, he went back to dry cleaning.
Working at a franchise dry cleaner first and then a local high-end dry cleaner, Henry taught himself how to code and build websites and built an online onboarding and full-training platform. In 2017, he bought the domain ‘weedsies.com’ and started researching the cannabis industry, noticing the different regulations per State. Henry had found his calling: building an online marketplace to solve significant problems faced by the industry.
After three years of tireless work, Henry launched the website on 4/20/2020 (Weed Day) after maxing out credit cards and putting the down payment for the house into the business. Weedsies is an online marketplace combining all three sectors of the cannabis industry: hemp, CBD, and recreational cannabis. Henry started the company to unite the divided cannabis industry and bring it to everyone’s fingertips.
On Weed Day in the following year, Henry launched Weedsies Mobile to promote the vendors and products on the marketplace. Like an Uber Eats/DoorDash exclusively for stoners, the ice-cream-style truck sells samples to potential consumers who can repeat purchases online. Weedsies offers an online payment solution for the cannabis industry (cryptocurrencies accepted).
Rather than seeing shops and dispensaries as competition, Henry sees them as potential clients, offering them to register as vendors on Weedsies. Unlike other online marketplaces in the industry, they also provide an offline retail avenue to generate a purchase cycle. As a technology company, they provide a point of sale system to CBD shops, smoke shops, and dispensaries. Preparing for the inevitable federal legalization of the industry, Henry has positioned Weedsies as the “Amazon/Shopify of cannabis.”
A nominee for the Business Elite’s 40 under 40, Henry is a pioneer in the commercialization of the cannabis industry and credits his consistency for his success.