William Wrigley Jr. II, the current scion of the family that earned their fortune in the chewing gum industry, has decided to invest in the medical marijuana industry. Wrigley helped to make the sale of his family’s company to Mars Inc. possible back in 2008. He recently invested $65 million in Surterra Wellness which is a startup company in Georgia to supply medical marijuana for Texas and Florida. This large investment brings the total amount raised for Surterra to $100 million.
When Wrigley, now 54, sold the chewing gum business his family had built, he left the business entirely. Now, he supports many companies through a personal investment firm located in West Palm Beach, Florida. After his initial investment in Surterra in September, Wrigley added to his stake in the company, assuming the chairman role. His investment in Surterra was his first financial involvement with the medical marijuana industry.
Wrigley explained his interest in the marijuana industry as being mainly due to the medical benefits the drug can provide. He hopes to use his experience in brand-building and product distribution to help Surterra grow to their full potential. The marijuana company currently runs ten different dispensaries in the state of Florida and has obtained a license to operate in Texas, as well.
Wrigley said in his first comments about his investment: “When I understood the massive benefits, it really changed my mind about the industry. You don’t see too many opportunities to have that kind of an impact in an industry that is being created from scratch.”
Despite his large investment in the medical marijuana industry, Wrigley has yet to participate in the recreational marijuana industry. He’s been reported to be watching it closely as more and more states consider legalizing recreational use for adults, despite it remaining federally illegal.