Apologies in advance, but I am contractually obligated to make the following and very corny joke—ahem: Looks like Jimmy Buffett is leaving “Margaritaville” and moving to “Marijuanaville!” Instead of that lost shaker of salt, he’s now searching for his, er, lost shaker of shake! He’s still watching the sun bake, though.
Jokes aside, Jimmy Buffett will license his Coral Reefer band name and brand to place on cannabis products ranging from vaporizers to edibles. The licensing deal is through medical cannabis giant Surterra.
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“I have followed and studied with keen intensity the recent evolvement of the medical marijuana story and the path towards the simple common-sense conclusion that cannabis is good medicine,” Buffett said on Tuesday.
You might be familiar with Surterra’s recently appointed chairman — William “Beau” Wrigley Jr., the former CEO and heir to the Wrigley chewing gum empire. Buffett partnered with Wrigley on the deal. According the Wall Street Journal, Buffett was approached by other startup companies to use his brand name, but ultimately sided with Surterra because of its medical focus.
A New York Times profile earlier this year noted that “Jimmy Buffett does not live the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle” anymore. The party icon of old “has been replaced with a well-preserved businessman.” He doesn’t do carbs or sugars, and doesn’t smoke marijuana anymore. Instead, he vapes oils “only sometimes after work,” like a responsible 71-year-old rock star.
So Buffett’s decision to side with Surterra is understandable. However, it’s worth noting that Wrigley told Bloomberg last month that he aims to move Surterra into the recreational cannabis space eventually and soak up some of the $5 billion market that recreational marijuana is anticipated to produce across nine legal states. In other words, don’t expect Marijuanaville to stay small for long.