Former Gum Magnate Wrigley Joins Cannabis Company

By Benjie Cooper

IG: @nuglifenews

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The Wrigley Company has been around since 1891 when 20-year-old William Wrigley Jr. moved to Chicago from Philadelphia and began selling his own brand of scouring soap and cans of baking powder that came with free packages of chewing gum. The gum quickly became the more popular than the baking powder, and thus the world’s largest chewing gum manufacturer was born.

But after more than a century of manufacturing gum, William “Beau” Wrigley Jr. II sold the family business to Mars Inc. in 2008. According to Bloomberg, the 54-year-old now helps finance companies through an investment arm located in West Palm Beach Florida.

Georgia-based cannabis company Surterra Wellness operates ten licensed dispensaries in Texas and Florida, and the company announced Monday that Wrigley had joined their Board of Directors as Chairman in a press release published online.

“Surterra is proud to welcome Beau, a business leader who brings decades of world-class experience in brand building to Surterra Wellness,” said Surterra CEO Jake Bergmann in a statement. “Having a seasoned industry veteran like Beau intimately involved in building Surterra’s business is exciting for the future of Surterra, our patients, and the entire medical cannabis industry.”

Wrigley’s direct investing arm also headed the company’s recent $65 million series C equity fundraising round, raising the total funds collected since 2015 to over $100 million.

Wrigley said that he got into the industry because of medical cannabis’ benefits, and will be drawing from his extensive experience in brand-building and product distribution to help fuel growth at Surterra.

“When I understood the massive benefits, it really changed my mind about the industry,” Wrigley told Bloomberg in an interview. “You don’t see too many opportunities to have that kind of an impact in an industry that is being created from scratch.”

Surterra plans to use funds to finance a multiple strategic initiatives in Florida and Texas including the construction of large cultivation centers in Florida, partnering with premier consumer brands, and accelerating product development. Additionally, the company intends to conduct cannabinoid-focused clinical research trials aimed at treating pain, anxiety, PTSD, and other significant health issues in the United States.