“Prison is for rapists, thieves, and murderers. If you lock someone up for smoking a plant that makes them happy, then you’re the fucking criminal.” ― Joe Rogan
While we can’t change the past, we can choose to learn from it. As society progresses towards a better future, the room for disguising discrimination as legislation has incredibly shrunk. It’s no longer just people of color or leftists (opposing wars) who associate themselves with cannabis but also big companies who want to make money from commercializing the plant previously seen as a public enemy. Henry Calix explains as the founder and CEO of Weedsies and a pioneer in the industry’s growth.
Weedsies is an online marketplace combining all three sectors of the cannabis industry: hemp, CBD, and recreational cannabis. Henry started the business to unite the divided cannabis industry and bring it to everyone’s fingertips. He describes Weedsies as the “Amazon or Shopify of cannabis.”
Born in Honduras, Henry came to the US when he was 12 years old. He was 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 it failed due to the 2008 and 2009 recessions. In 2010, he went back to dry cleaning.
Working at a franchise dry cleaner and then a local high-end dry cleaner, Henry built an online onboarding and full-training platform as he taught himself how to code and develop websites. In 2017, he bought the domain weedsies.com and researched the cannabis industry. Observing the varying regulations per state, Henry began building an online marketplace to solve the industry’s major problems.
After three years of tireless efforts, Henry launched the website for Weedsies Marketplace on 4/20/2020 (Weed Day) after maxing out credit cards and putting the down payment for the house into the business.
Celebrating Weed Day the following year, Henry launched Weedsies Mobile, an ice-cream-truck style retailer promoting the vendors and products on the marketplace by selling samples to potential consumers who can later shop online for what they like. Providing an offline retail avenue to generate a circle of purchases separates Weedsies from other online marketplaces in the industry.
“The War on Drugs will go down in history as the most racist crusade since slavery.”― Thor Benson
Aware of a history of inequality and intolerance haunting the perception of cannabis, Henry believes in the stoner mantra of “sharing is caring” and sees other shops and dispensaries as potential clients rather than competition, offering them to become vendors on Weedsies. By providing a point of sale system to CBD shops, smoke shops, and dispensaries, Weedsies is uniting cannabis companies with private funding. They offer an online payment solution for the cannabis industry as a technology company and even accept cryptocurrencies.