Two men from Alabama have built a small Colorado-based cannabis company into a national weed powerhouse, AL.com reports. After losing their RV business in the 2008 recession, Alabamans Tripp Keber and Chuck Smith decided to invest in small cannabis company in Colorado.
“Seven or eight years ago there was something called the ‘green rush,’ and my partner Tripp said, ‘I think we should take a look at investing in this industry,’” Smith told AL.com.
The two realized there was a chance for them to start their own company before the legal cannabis movement really exploded in the state. In June 2010, they started Dixie Elixirs. In the seven years since, the company—now called Dixie Brands—has blossomed into 100-person operation that sells edibles in five states.
“I guess we had pretty good vision. We saw that there was going to probably be a marijuana industry in Colorado. … As we got further into it we realized that this had the opportunity to be a big industry and we really wanted to be part of it.”
Coming from a red state like Alabama, Keber and Smith are optimistic that most Americans will support increasing legalization and that politicians won’t interfere, despite the promises of his former Senator and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“I don’t think we are ever going to be able to get Sen. Sessions to say that he likes marijuana, and my point is he may believe that but he is now moving into a position where he has to have a national position on issues, including on marijuana, as opposed to a state-based position in Alabama,” Smith said. “I have some confidence that the people around him in the administration will value the 250,000-plus jobs and the tax revenue, and that they wouldn’t want the industry to go back to the cartels.”