William Wrigley Jr. Switches Gears From Gum To Medical Marijuana

He recently invested $65 million in medical marijuana company Surterra Wellness.

William Wrigley Jr. Switches Gears From Gum To Medical Marijuana
Photo by Flickr user Sam Howzit

William “Beau” Wrigley Jr. II, the great-grandson of the original gum slinging Wrigley founder, made major headlines when it came out that he invested $65 million in the medical marijuana brand Surterra Wellness. According to Bloomberg, however, Wrigley left the gum and candy business behind when he sold to Mars, Inc., so there’s not likely Wrigley’s ganja gum coming out anytime soon.

Suterra provides a, “variety of product lines, including lotions, sprays, oils and vaporizer pens, providing targeted effects tailored to your medical condition,” according to their website. They also operate dispensaries in Florida and are licensed in Texas.

Wrigley’s initial investment in Surterra was in September and he’s only become more ingrained as time goes by, currently assuming the position of chairman. If you go to the Surterra homepage, you’ll see a smiling Wrigley pop-up before entering the site. Clearly all parties are excited to be furthering the medical field in Florida and potentially Texas.

Wrigley said that it was when he realized the “massive benefits” that it changed his mind about the industry, though there was no comment as to the context of how he learned about the many positive aspects of cannabis.

Billionaires are continuing to flock to the medical and recreational marijuana markets as pot becomes more and more of a cultural norm. Cannabis is everywhere these days, and it’s become hard to avoid hearing another miraculous story at least every once in awhile, even if not paying much attention.

The federal ban on cannabis was a longtime deterrent, but as more states legalize, decriminalize and otherwise normalize the plant, more people are coming out of the money’s woodwork to invest in weed. Now, though banking and interstate commerce remain speed bumps, they don’t mean deal breakers.

Here’s the rub, as pointed out by Wrigley in Bloomberg, “Everyone seems to be in there because they think they’re going to make tons of money. Some will and some will be sorely surprised when they understand how complex it is.” Words of wisdom from someone who should know.

The cannabis industry didn’t just pop up overnight with open signs flashing, it’s taken decades of work from big hearted, brave trailblazers who fought the man. Now the proverbial wo/man is joining forces. It’s a good reminder that, whomever may have said it first, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

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