Extending from chewing gum to the baseball diamond, the Wrigley name is synonymous with Chicago. Soon, if the former head of the big gum company has his way, it could be a name associated with medical marijuana.
William Wrigley Jr., the one-time heir to the company founded by his great-grandfather, has been named a chairman to the board of Surterra Wellness, which is a medical marijuana company originating in Florida and Texas, according to a recent report from the Chicago Tribune.
Wrigley now resides in Florida where medical marijuana is partially legalized. His investment fund contributed $65 million to Surterra Wellness, which has raised some $100 million overall.
“I haven’t been this excited about a business in a very long time,” he said in a statement given to the Chicago Tribune.
“This is about helping people,” the statement went on to say. “It can give people a normal life, let them go to school and be a normal member of society. It is incredible to craft that opportunity in an industry that is starting from scratch.”
Wrigley led his namesake gum company from 1999 to 2010, when he stepped down.
Surterra’s CEO Jake Bergmann told the Tribune that Wrigley’s backing is an important moment not just for his startup but for the cannabis industry as a whole.
“It’s great to have verification from a well-known name brand and business leader that we are indeed a professional industry and the industry has grown up, so to speak,” he told the newspaper.