Chuck Smith, the Wizard of Oz at Dixie Brands

chuck smith Dixie COO

Seth Adler, who has been conducting extensive interviews with the leaders of the cannabis industry for over a year now on his Cannabis Economy podcasts, recently shared his dialogue with Chuck Smith, the COO of Dixie Brands. Almost everyone knows his equal partner, Tripp Keber, who serves as CEO and who Smith describes as the “front of the house” and “rainmaker”, but most are not that familiar with Smith, who has stayed out of the limelight (with the exception of his appearance on Pot Barons).

A great part of the interview involves Smith’s background growing up in Baltimore, his attendance at University of Maryland, where he migrated from his interest in becoming a veterinarian to his degree in accounting followed by an immediate journey to Nashville to get his MBA from Vanderbilt. Smith’s first job out of college was acting as CFO of a small women’s clothing retailer in Chicago, which he eventually ran before selling it. He then worked for a software company and migrated towards real estate.

Smith partnered with Keber in a real estate company prior to their involvement with Dixie, introduced by his friend and partner who unilaterally brought in Keber to help them with business development. Keber and Smith ended up buying the controlling partner out and have been “50/50 partners” in all business since then. Smith discussed how his own views as Dixie have evolved, as he originally thought it would be a quick exit. He enjoys the social mission of the company to end prohibition and help address medical issues as well as creating products to replace alcohol consumption. Smith spends a lot of his time working with state regulators to improve laws and speaks eloquently about not making programs too restrictive, as patients suffer fewer choices and end up turning to the black market.

By the end of June, Dixie will be in six states, all in the West, including Colorado, Arizona, California, Oregon, Nevada and Washington. He said that over the next few months, the company will be planning its East Coast strategy.  He ruled out New York due to the restrictive nature of the program, but he spoke about the potential of Florida despite its limitations on THC concentrations. He didn’t name any states, but the company’s best prospects are some of the smaller states with more liberal programs. Dixie is also moving forward with CBD products in Australia through its JV, and it hopes to see continued progress there.

Listen to the interview

Exclusive article by Alan Brochstein, CFA
Alan Brochstein, CFA
Based in Houston, Alan leverages his experience as founder of online community 420 Investor, the first and still largest due diligence platform focused on the publicly-traded stocks in the cannabis industry. With his extensive network in the cannabis community, Alan continues to find new ways to connect the industry and facilitate its sustainable growth. At New Cannabis Ventures, he is responsible for content development and strategic alliances. Before shifting his focus to the cannabis industry in early 2013, Alan, who began his career on Wall Street in 1986, worked as an independent research analyst following over two decades in research and portfolio management. A prolific writer, with over 650 articles published since 2007 at Seeking Alpha, where he has 70,000 followers, Alan is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and a frequent source to the media, including the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, and Bloomberg TV. Contact Alan: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Email

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