Dixie CEO Chuck Smith Says He Expects To Be In 8 States Very Soon

This interview was recorded on June 25, 2019, at the MJ Link Micro Investor conference in New York. 

Debra Borchardt, Editor-in-Chief, Green Market Report:

Dixie Brands Inc. (OTCPK:DXBRF) just got approved for Oklahoma, its sixth state. Joining me now is the CEO, Chuck Smith. So, very exciting, Oklahoma, your number six state and a pretty good patient population there, right?

Chuck Smith, CEO Dixie Brands:

It sure is, Debra. It’s about 130,000 patients, very broad qualifying conditions, so that makes it kind of perfect for a company like ours, has a very big product portfolio. We can really serve a lot of different patient needs with our existing product set.

Green Market Report

Your product, I have to say, it tastes good. That’s one of the issues that we have with beverages.

Chuck Smith

So, you could say it tastes great.

Green Market Report

Ok, it tastes great. So many of the cannabis beverages, they just make me cringe, and they taste awful, but your product doesn’t. It tastes good.

Chuck Smith

Well, thanks very much for that. I think all of our products taste really good, and that’s something we’re proud of, but that’s also why we’ve been around for nine years. Having nine years to actually perfect the formulations, understand how to work with the oil, understand how to bring the right kind of flavor profiles together in a great responsible way, but also attractive packaging, I think that’s a cornerstone of Dixie Brands. As we evolve, the consumer is demanding that too. We have to continue to evolve that technology to make sure that the products are consistent, reliable, and taste great in every single state that we market it to.

Green Market Report

You recently reported your earnings. Your revenue’s phenomenal. It was up 137%, so your sales are growing tremendously. I did want to ask you about your net losses, $6.6 million. Quite high. A lot of that was compensation, but to your point, you said the company’s been around for nine years. You just went public, so a lot of people put in a lot of hours to get this company to the point of going public, right?

Chuck Smith

Sure, but to be clear on the compensation, the number is a component of that, and this is the crazy thing, unfortunately, I guess, about being a public company. When we issue stock options to our employees, we actually have to capture the expense of those options. It doesn’t mean that the employees are out now driving Ferraris because they’re locked up for a three-year vesting schedule, but the company has to actually book that loss associated with those options that we gave. So, that’s really a non-cash expense, but it’s expense nonetheless that we’re going to do because we want to incent our employees through options to make them part of the company and owners and rowing the boat in the same direction that we all are towards success.

Green Market Report

I think that’s great that you’re able to explain that because for a lot of people, they see that, and they see that net loss number, and it’s frightening, but when you explain it like that, it’s like, “Oh, okay. All right,” so everybody’s getting like you said, an investment within the company, which creates a lot of stickiness with your employees.

Chuck Smith

We want the employees to share in the upside of the great growth this company is going to have and the great success. It’s been nine long years, and this hasn’t been an industry that’s easy for anyone. So, now that we’re in the public eye and have access to capital markets, I expect a great growth for the company and ultimately, a great success. Like any company that’s building, you’re going to have to make investments. Those investments sometimes drop to the bottom line as losses, but the reality is every investment we make now in infrastructure or people or our routes to market are all designed to generate revenue. We’re not spending a lot of time having to do things just to catch up to others in the market. I think our portfolio is broader and more established than anybody else in the industry.

Green Market Report

Beverages. It seems like everyone’s slapping CBD oil in their beverage, and that now, they’re a CBD drink. What are your thoughts on that?

Chuck Smith

We’ve been in the CBD business for three years ourselves. However, our focus has been on dietary supplement formatted products both for humans, Aceso Hemp, and in that case, we have a couple of different types of product formats including an effervescent powder, which is kind of like an Emergen-C if you’ve ever had one of those.

Green Market Report

Love Emergen-C.

Chuck Smith

It’s a great product, indication-specific, high efficacy. On the other side, we have a great company that we own called Therabis, which targets CBD wellness to pets, primarily dogs, and we just introduced our cat treat. We’re very comfortable with these products because we’ve built them, Debra, against FDA supplement standards. Even though the FDA, as of today, doesn’t allow CBD in food and hasn’t made a ruling on supplements, we’ve built them from day one against that stringent level of standards. Now, we don’t have a CBD water yet, and frankly, the FDA is not giving us much comfort that they’re going to allow mass-market distribution of CBD in water and food, and I think that’s yet to come. As we get more guidance and clarity on that, you could expect Dixie to be at the forefront of that.

Green Market Report

So you’ve gotten Oklahoma. Is your goal more state expansion?

Chuck Smith

Yes, so we had said at the beginning of the year that we were going to open up between four and six new states that would be adding to the four states that we already have. So, our goal is really in between eight and 10 new states. Oklahoma is our sixth. We expect to be releasing product there by September, so that’s a pretty fast turnaround. In Michigan, we announced that deal at the beginning of February and had the product on the shelf the end of March, so we know what we’re doing, we know how to get the product into the market. With Oklahoma as our sixth state, you could expect to see one or two more announcements here probably over the next 30 to 60 days. That’ll really bring us into that eighth state and growing territory.

Green Market Report

Fantastic. We will keep an eye on Dixie and Therabis for our good pets.

Video Staff

Video Staff


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