Article by Connor Sheets, AL.com
In 2008, real estate developers Tripp Keber and Chuck Smith owned and operated an upscale RV resort just outside Gulf Shores with aspirations of building a national chain.
But the recession would see those dreams dashed, and in 2009 the business partners took a risk and diversified their investment portfolio in a new way by putting money into an up-and-coming cannabis company in Colorado.
Business was good, and they soon realized that legal pot was quickly becoming a booming industry. So in June 2010, they took the next step, incorporating a humble Denver-based cannabis start-up called Dixie Elixirs.
“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 said in a December phone interview.
“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.”