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WSJ: Jimmy Buffett Signs Pot Licensing Deal With Billionaire Wrigley Heir

WSJ: Jimmy Buffett Signs Pot Licensing Deal With Billionaire Wrigley Heir

By    |   Tuesday, 11 September 2018 11:04 AM

Singer Jimmy Buffett and billionaire William “Beau” Wrigley Jr. reportedly are backing a U.S. marijuana startup amid a corporate scramble to pump money into the cannabis industry.

Buffett, whose music evokes a beach-bum lifestyle, will license his Coral Reefer brand to Surterra Holdings Inc. for a line of cannabis products including vape pens, gel caps, edibles and lotions, the Wall Street Journal said.

The deal comes a month after Wrigley, the former CEO of the Wrigley gum and candy company, joined Surterra as chairman when his family investment firm Wychwood Asset Management led a $65 million fundraising round, WSJ.com reported.

Earlier this year, Canada’s upper house of parliament approved a revised bill to legalize recreational marijuana, setting the stage for the country to become the first Group of Seven nation to legalize cannabis.

As the first major economy to fully legalize cannabis, Canada’s regulatory rollout has been closely watched by other nations considering the same path - and by global investors, who have already poured billions into Canadian marijuana firms, Reuters explained.

Canadian marijuana companies like Canopy Growth Corp., Aphria Inc., Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF and Aurora Cannabis Inc. have been at the center of investor frenzy surrounding attempts to legalize marijuana for recreational use nationwide.

To be sure, pot stocks continued charging higher Monday after Aurora reached a deal to acquire South America-focused ICC Labs Inc., Bloomberg reported.

The C$290 million ($220 million) deal is the latest in an acquisition spree that has seen Aurora buy at least 10 companies in the past two years. Aurora shares gained as much as 4.1 percent, while ICC added 5.6 percent in intraday trading in Toronto.

“We feel a significant sense of urgency to rapidly establish a powerful global footprint,” Cam Battley, chief corporate officer at Aurora, said in a phone interview.

Pot stocks have posted significant gains since mid-August, when Canopy Growth Corp. announced a C$5 billion investment from Constellation Brands Inc. The BI Canada Cannabis Competitive Peers index has added 38 percent since Aug. 14, including a 4.3 percent intraday gain on Monday.

Meanwhile, the first marijuana exchange-traded fund has reached a milestone that has as much to do with surging pot stocks as it does with investor inflows, Bloomberg reported.

The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF’s total assets have grown to more than C$1 billion as shares rallied 124 percent since its April 2017 debut on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It’s the first cannabis-focused fund to break the billion-dollar mark. Known by its ticker HMMJ, the ETF has benefited from burgeoning investor demand for pot stocks.

Material from Bloomberg and Reuters were used in this report.

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WSJ: Jimmy Buffett Signs Pot Licensing Deal With Billionaire Wrigley Heir
jimmy buffett, pot, wrigley, marijuana, cannabis, surterra
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 11:04 AM
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