Weed’s Answer to Jobs, Zuckerberg and Bezos

Weed’s Answer to Jobs, Zuckerberg and Bezos
cannabis now

In today’s digital age, online retail giants and social media have made consumers’ every whim conveniently accessible with the click of a button. But rewind the clock to the dawn of the millennium, however, and things were very different indeed. It was the early days of the internet and e-commerce. Amazon was only just starting to add music CDs to their online bookshop, and Facebook was still a gleam in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. It was also around this time that Filip Ernest and Hans Oei opened the world’s first combined online head shop and forum: Grasscity.com. Over the next two decades, Grasscity would become one of the most influential cannabis companies in the world. Regarded by many as the planet’s No.1 online head store, the canna-destination serves an average of 5.8 million customers annually, who shop for the finest bongs, rigs, CBD products and paraphernalia that the web has to offer. To commemorate Grasscity’s  prodigious achievements, the childhood friends-turned-successful business partners reflect on the early days—back when they’d receive fax machine orders—and how they got to where they are now: indisputably regarded as nothing less than counterculture and cannabis business legends. In 1998, Ernest and Oei were no strangers to innovation and success. Ernest was an early e-commerce entrepreneur and Oei owned three busy cannabis coffee shops in Amsterdam. Their joint story began when Oei approached Ernest to create websites for his coffeeshops—but Ernest went one step further. He proposed creating a new online experience, one where locals and tourists alike could easily find Amsterdam’s most popular cafes. This led to the creation of their first online endeavor, a content-based online magazine called Coffeeshop-Amsterdam.com. But according to Ernest, this initial idea consumed both time and money. So, by the year 2000, the concept pivoted into an online forum and head shop. This new direction…

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