Denver, Colorado-based edible juggernaut Dixie Brands released a statement that the company will rename itself, thus distancing itself from the word “Dixie” and its connection to hateful beliefs of the past, specifically slavery.
The reasoning behind the name-change is openly evident, judging by current events: Monuments and symbols linked to the Confederacy and other sponsors of slavery are being yanked from their pedestals in the wake of a new commitment to honoring only the honorable. Even the Mississippi flag will drop its 126-year relationship with Confederate flag imagery embedded in its design.
Growing beyond the US, the chorus of disapproval thunders loud and clear as also statues of slavery proponents ranging from Stonewall Jackson in Richmond, Virginia to Robert Milligan in London, England are toppled at the behest of historically-sized crowds.
So why did the Dixie Chicks, Dixie Brewing Company, and possibly Winn-Dixie grocery stores and Dixie State University in Utah decide to drop the name “Dixie”? The answer lies in the word’s undeniable connection to states that allowed slavery—as Americans are reevaluating many other ethical problems with the words we commonly use.
“Dixie” derives its name from the Mason-Dixon line—dividing free states from slave states—and is synonymous with the South and to some, Southern pride. While “Dixie” has held other various meanings such as ten dollar bill notes in early Louisiana—its connection to the Confederacy, and the slavery the Confederate States Army fought to preserve, can’t be ignored in informed conversation.
Dixie Brands took a fiscal leap of faith and announced its decision to drop the name from its branding as well. In a statement on the popular edible brand’s website, the company set the record straight on its team’s beliefs about racism and injustice.
“Recently, the national conversation about racism and injustice has focused our attention to the pain the Dixie name can cause due to the historical context of the word. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Black community, and we stand firmly against racism and injustice,” Dixie Brands stated on its website. “To stay true to these values, we have decided to change our name. As we make this change, we will listen carefully to our community, our customers, and our employees. While this change will take time, we are committed to implementing it as soon as possible. We hope this change is a small step forward for a more just and equal world.”
An Instagram post also confirmed the company’s plan for a makeover.
Dixie Brands outlasted scores of other cannabis edible startups and companies in a famously challenging industry. Ten years in the business have solidified its foothold in the cannabis-infused products market. Once a humble cannabis-infused edible line, Dixie Elixirs, the brand eventually expanded into six states and thus became a household name for cannabis consumers across the US.
Time for a Name-Change
Dixie Brands CEO Chuck Smith wrote his own explanation about the brand’s plans to rename and rebrand.
Smith admitted that the “change will take time,” but emphasized that his company is committed to forming a new brand identity. Smith indicated that existing packaging will continue to be distributed until the company settles on a new name and can roll out the new packaging.
Dixie Brands will be accepting suggestions for a name change via a company email address. As of early July, there are no names yet that the company has agreed upon.
But for now, you can still find Dixie Brand products, as is, where they are typically sold. “The Dixie products you know and love will continue to be available at all leading dispensaries until the new brand and packaging gets to market,” Smith wrote. “Thank you for all your support and we will keep you posted every step of the way.”
Dixie Brands’ new name remains a mystery as the company accepts suggestions from the public on ways it can rebrand. While Americans wildly disagree on whether or not words connected to the Confederacy should be dropped—it’s clear that the word “Dixie” conjures unwanted negative feelings for many individuals.