GQ magazine australia Hugh Jackman GQ Australia ..Marijuana Inc...Published 10 Jul 2013
“Hey, jump on in,” says the 45-year-old, motioning to the passenger door.
Beneath a snarling metal grille sits the personalised number plate “Dixie X”. Keber’s hair is slicked-down, his skin luminous in a way that you tend to see on the wealthy and the suit on his stocky frame, custom-made.
Sharing the car with Keber’s CFO and another acronymic executive, a smile spreads across my face – prompted partly by the conspicuous transport but mostly by the fact that one of the biggest names in American marijuana is named Tripp. Of course he is.
There have been other monikers, mind: “drug baron”, “ganjapreneur”, “king of weed”... He swats at them in stern rejection, though he’s struggled to shake the “Willy Wonka of Weed”. It seems fitting as we barrel beyond the city limits of Colorado’s capital, cocooned in this whimsical machine. And, like Wonka, Keber looks set to soar. Come January, when legal recreational marijuana sales look likely to start – and we mean fancy-a-hit, duck-down-the-shops kind of legal – he’s in a very good position thanks to his pot-infused business, Dixie Elixirs & Edibles, making marijuana sodas, chocolates, bath salts and beyond.
“When you invest in marijuana, you invest in America,” states Keber, swapping Willy Wonka for Uncle Sam. It’s a rehearsed line (I hear it several more times today), but it’s delivered with certain pride.
“What we’re talking about is big business – as it stands today, the [medical] marijuana industry is bigger than the United States corn industry. ” That’s an estimated $1.7bn of sales in 2013, accounting for the 18 states and one district (Washington DC) where the sale of marijuana is available to the millions of medical consumers approved to inhale.
Add to this the 12 states poised to introduce medicinal legislation, pack it down with the progressive moves of Colorado and Washington State regarding legal, recreational toking, sprinkle it with a recent Pew Research Poll that showed a majority of Americans