One of the earliest cannabis companies Dixie Brands is joining its peers in the rush to become a publicly traded company. Dixie will complete a reverse takeover (RTO) of a Canadian public company, Academy Explorations Limited and will be subsequently renamed Dixie Brands (USA) Inc. Both of the companies have gotten board and shareholder approval for the RTO and the shares will be listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange.
By going public on the CSE, we’re investing in Dixie’s future for continued growth with a focus on quality, product innovation, and scale,” says Dixie CEO Chuck Smith.
In addition to announcing the RTO, Dixie also closed its Series C fundraising round of approximately $25 million. According to the company statement, the Series C round was originally offered as a non-brokered private placement for $20 million, however, due to positive investor demand, Dixie increased the maximum offering amount to $25 million with board and shareholder approval.
“The financing round we have just closed will provide resources for Dixie to expand our brand throughout the U.S. and into Canada,” Smith states. “Dixie has been a leader in the cannabis industry since its inception. We have nine years of experience developing intellectual property and building a brand that creates an incredible platform for our company and shareholders. We look forward to providing the same safe, high quality, and consistent product to patients and adult-use consumers throughout the U.S. and Canada.”
Dixie was an early pioneer of cannabis branding beginning with a feature on 60 Minutes at a time when few cannabis product companies existed. It began with one product, the Dixie Elixir, a THC-infused soda, and the company has built up its portfolio to include more than 30 different categories across more than 100 individual products.
In 2018, Dixie entered into a Canadian license agreement with Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (CBWTF), a vertically integrated global cannabis company. Under the agreement, Auxly will work with Dixie to create products for the adult-use recreational market in Canada. Those products will be developed and manufactured at Dosecann in the BioCommons Research Park in Charlottetown, PEI and Dosecann will serve as Dixie’s hub of cannabis research and innovation.
With regards to its domestic business, Dixie is currently operating in four states (Colorado, California, Nevada, and Maryland) and plans to expand into four to six additional states in 2019 through partnerships with licensed and regulated producers in each state. The company has recently expanded its hemp-based offerings by introducing Aceso Wellness, a human dietary supplement line, and Therabis, a pet food supplement portfolio, at the end of 2016.
Dixie has seen a change of management over the past couple of years as one of its original founders moved on to another company. Tripp Keber founded Dixie Holdings with Chuck Smith in 2010 in Colorado in the early stages of cannabis legalization with the THC-infused soda. In 2017, Co-founder Tripp Keber is resigned in order to take a new position that partnered Dixie with Rose Capital based in Miami, Florida. At the same time, Keber, also resigned from the board at MassRoots (MSRT) as that company’s founder Isaac Dietrich reclaimed his company.