The Audacious Rebranding of the Marijuana Industry

Entrepreneurs are trying to boost sales by steering pot toward the Whole Foods crowd.

Upon entering Dixie Elixirs's headquarters in Denver, you're greeted by a big sign that reads: "The Future of Cannabis." Since its 2009 founding, Dixie has updated its image from a "pot soda" company to a gourmet THC edibles manufacturer whose carbonated drinks and snacks, containing ingredients like pepita and sea salt, look like they could be found on a shelf at Whole Foods. 

It's just one example of how marijuana businesses are rebranding the plant to distance pot from its hippie-stoner-outlaw culture and show off its appeal to a health-conscious, kale chip-eating crowd.

In April, during High Times's Cannabis Cup in Denver, Pete Williams, co-founder ofcultivation center and dispensary Medicine Man, said the companies that will ultimately find success are those that develop a branding strategy that appeals to the mass market.

"The game is about demographics, he said. "We need to make cannabis less looking-over-your-shoulder and...

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