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From Gum to Ganja: Wrigley Billionaire Invests in Marijuana

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William Wrigley Jr. has moved on from the chewing gum industry and recently made a massive investment into the medical marijuana industry. Wrigley’s company was sold to Mars Inc. in 2008. Now he is investing his fortune in marijuana companies, like Surterra Wellness.

Surterra, which has licenses to operate dispensaries in Florida and Texas, became Wrigley’s first marijuana investment, Bloomberg reports. He said his choice to invest in the industry comes because of the medical benefits of marijuana.

Wrigley joined Surterra’s Board of Directors as Chairman. The company also closed a $65 million Series C equity fundraising round led by Wrigley’s direct investment arm.

Wrigley said, “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’s being created from scratch.”

While he has his eye on recreational marijuana markets, he’s sticking with medical marijuana for now. He is hopeful that the U.S. government will begin to loosen regulations as more states legalize medicinal use.

Surterra and Wrigley plan to be a part of the recreational marijuana market in the future.

Wrigley said, “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.”

Photo: Mars