When a young plant enters the flowering stage, the calyx is the first part of the flower. It protects the plant’s reproductive organs between sepals, providing a stable base. While a calyx is essential to safeguard the flower during its development, in cannabis cultivation, it is crucial for another reason—it is the plant’s most resinous part. What a calyx does for the cannabis plant, Henry Calix, the founder and CEO of Weedsies, is doing for the budding US cannabis industry.
Born in Honduras, Henry came to the US when he was only 12. Raised by his mother as an only child, he had never met his father. After graduating high school in 2006, Henry attended Miami Dade College for two years while working at a local dry cleaner, his first job out of high school. He started his first business as a grant writing consultant but closed it 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. After buying the domain weedsies.com in 2017, Henry started researching the cannabis industry and noticed the varying regulations in each state. He realized what he needed to do and began tirelessly building an online marketplace to solve significant problems faced by the industry.
After three years of hard work, Henry put the down payment for the house into the business, maxed out credit cards, and finally launched the site on 4/20/2020 (Weed Day) amidst the pandemic. On the same day in the following year, He launched Weedsies Mobile, a retailer resembling an ice cream truck to promote the vendors and products by selling samples to potential consumers providing them the option to shop online for what they like.
While Weedsies Mobile is the equivalent of Uber Eats/DoorDash of cannabis, Weedsies is an online marketplace combining all three sectors of the cannabis industry: hemp, CBD, and recreational cannabis. Weedsies is a technology company that provides an online payment solution for the cannabis industry and even accepts cryptocurrencies. Besides uniting cannabis companies with private funding, Weedsies offers other shops and dispensaries to register as vendors.
What separates them from other online marketplaces in the industry is that they also provide an offline retail avenue to create a circle of purchases. Staying true to the stoner’s mantra of “sharing is caring,” Weedsies delivers a point of sale system to CBD shops, smoke shops, and dispensaries rather than seeing them as competition.
As the industry awaits legalization on a federal level, Henry has established Weedsies as the “Amazon/Shopify of cannabis.” A pioneer in the industry’s growth, he has been nominated for Business Elite’s 40 under 40. The award gala will be held at St. Regis in New York on June 30th.