Wrigley Chewing Gum Heir Invests in the Cannabis Industry
The signs that cannabis has moved into the mainstream of American society have been piling up over the years. Literally every day, anyone paying attention to media, culture, and politics, whether in the United States or internationally, can see that marijuana has moved out of the shadows into the bright lights of our lives. The latest major signal that cannabis is a legitimate part of our culture is when you follow the money. News that William Wrigley Jr. II, the billionaire heir to the Wrigley Chewing Gum fortune, is investing in cannabis is just the most recent example as Bloomberg reported:
Wrigley, 54, who left the gum and candy business after the sale, backs companies through a personal investment arm based in West Palm Beach, Florida. After an initial investment in Surterra in September, Wrigley is boosting his stake and assuming the role of chairman. Surterra is his first direct investment in the marijuana industry.
Wrigley, known as Beau, said he got into the industry mainly because of marijuana’s medical benefits. He said he’s tapping his experience with product distribution and brand-building to drive growth at Surterra. The cannabis company operates 10 medical dispensaries in Florida, including one in Miami Beach, and has a license to operate in the nascent Texas market.
“When I understood the massive benefits, it really changed my mind about the industry,” Wrigley said in an interview, his first public comments about the investment. “You don’t see too many opportunities to have that kind of an impact in an industry that is being created from scratch.”
Honestly, when most people ask me about investing in the United States cannabis industry, I question their motives and finances and make sure that they know that they are entering an ultracompetitive market that needs changes at the federal level to really capture its potential. There are risks involved, but many, many exciting opportunities are also there to be seized. With investors like Beau Wrigley entering the cannabis industry, it adds even more legitimacy to our cause to legalize more freedom, create more jobs, and generate more revenue. As Mr. Wrigley stated, the chances of getting involved in an industry at the ground level are few and far between. We have a rare opening that was unthinkable not that long ago, we just have to seize it.
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