Title: Co-founder and CEO
Ross Lipson stumbled on the “utopic town” of Bend, Oregon, almost by accident.
After selling his former company, GrubCanada, an online food ordering service, Lipson set off on an “aimless road trip from Vancouver” with the plan of going “mountain to mountain” to indulge one of passions: snowboarding. One weekend, he landed at Mount Bachelor and fell in love with the area, deciding to make it his new home.
A few years later, Lipson was standing in line on the first day of recreational cannabis sales to indulge one of his other passions when a light bulb went off: There should be a way to order cannabis online, and he had the experience to do it.
“It was more of a disco ball,” he says of the idea for his all-in-one tech platform, including point of sales, enterprise resource planning and e-commerce. “Out came Dutchie.”
He says the two industries — food and cannabis — are similar in many ways, but differ in key areas, such as the consumer experience and retail operations. For example, not much product education is needed when it comes to food.
“You don’t need to see a photo of a slice of pizza,” Lipson says.
The platform’s combination of discovery and convenience has led it into more than 35 markets and the company just raised an additional $200 million in capital on a $1.7 billion valuation with plans to grow into new markets with new services. With its home base in Bend, it’s the perfect combination of Lipson’s passions: Snowboarding, cannabis and business.
“Ultimately, we’re here to push this industry forward,” he says.