Jimmy Buffett has been playing with the Coral Reefer Band for well over four decades now, so it’s less than surprising to see the veteran singer-songwriter finally getting into the weed business.
The “Margaritaville” singer will license the “Coral Reefer” brand to Surterra, a big medical marijuana company whose board has since last month been chaired by William “Beau” Wrigley, Jr.—the former CEO of the Wrigley confectionery firm.
Georgia-based Surterra is currently licensed in Florida and Texas, and plans to build out cultivation space in the former state while conducting research trials on cannabinoid treatment for issues such as pain and post-traumatic stress disorder. The company has raised more than $100 million in the last few years, most recently in a $65 million round last month that was led by Wrigley’s Wychwood Asset Management.
As The Wall Street Journal noted when reporting the Buffett news Tuesday, weed companies often have to turn to rich people and their family investment firms for finance, due to restrictions on investments in such operations by big institutional investors.
Buffett will earn royalties from Surterra’s Coral Reefer-branded vape pens, edibles, lotions and gel caps, but gain no stake in the venture. According to the Journal‘s report, he was approached by other cannabis ventures but opted for Surterra because of its medical, rather than recreational, focus.
That said, Wrigley told Bloomberg last month that Surterra would eventually move into the recreational marijuana market, which should pull in more than $5 billion this year across the nine states where it can legally operate.