Keber took that to mean that in the eyes of the federal government, "there is no such thing as too large a commercial enterprise" — welcome news for a businessman hoping to build a nationwide brand of marijuana-infused products. "That, for me, was a watershed moment," Keber says. "I took my hand off the throttle and said, 'Let's go.'"

Dixie Elixirs was issued a license to manufacture recreational MIPs on December 27, Keber says, the first day they were available. And just in time for the start of recreational pot sales on January 1, the company's products are getting a makeover. The new packaging is classy and adult; the company has traded its see-through glass soda bottles for brushed-silver aluminum ones that conceal the brightly colored liquid. To make the soda even less appealing to kids, the entire bottle is shrink-wrapped in sturdy plastic that Keber doubts a young child would be able to open.

But no matter how ready Dixie Elixirs is for the dawn of this brave new weed world, Keber predicts that it won't be ready enough. "I think we're going to get smoked — pardon the pun — because the demand is going to far outpace what we can manufacture," he says.

Kayvan Khalatbari
Anthony Camera
Kayvan Khalatbari
Dan Williams
Anthony Camera
Dan Williams

Not for long, perhaps. Keber expects the MIP industry to grow at breakneck speed as more and more states legalize pot use; he says he wouldn't be surprised if edibles, which accounted for less than 10 percent of the market in 2010, soon represent half of all cannabis sales. That's why Keber describes Dixie Elixirs as the "crown jewel" of his investment portfolio, which also includes investments in marijuana-related security and software companies, along with other ventures that he declines to name.

"There are theories that there are going to be billionaires minted from this," Keber says of the legal marijuana market. And while he won't go so far as to say he'll be one of them, he figures he'll know some of those billionaires. Keber has been criticized for saying that he wants to build up Dixie Elixirs so he can sell it for a profit, and he doesn't deny that that's part of his plan; those who think that the big alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies aren't watching states like Colorado very closely are fooling themselves, he says.

"At the end of the day," he predicts, "they're going to knock on somebody's door and say, 'To whom do we make the check payable?'"
-- Melanie Asmar

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8 comments
karlajobro
karlajobro

new to illinois, the medical marijuana industry is being super regulated with very strict rules. I am eager to see it come here, but after seeing the recently released rules and regs from the ag dept, the dept of health and idfpr, it won't be easy...nothing worthwhile ever is, tho. 

Love Dixie Elixirs...yes to this. Expatriate in Illinois

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay

Only Puerile Pot Punks allow themselves to be photographed in suits while stoned.

Barnabey
Barnabey

ganjapreneurs, that's actually pretty clever

 
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