Wrigley’s Medicinal Weed

The Chicago Tribune reports that William Wrigley Jr. is investing in medicinal marijuana.
William Wrigley Jr., once the president and CEO of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., has been named chairman of the board of directors at Surterra Wellness, a medical cannabis company with operations in Florida and Texas. Wrigley’s investment fund led a $65 million equity fundraising round that Surterra closed in July. The company has raised more than $100 million since 2015.
 
I’m certain that there’s plenty of money to be made – for those with plenty of money to put in. But, I call “BS” on the “medicinal” aspect of the gum heirs’ surely principled benign effort to help those in pain.
 
It’s happened before. Those who genuinely need it eventually find themselves without medication.
 
Take for instance Oregon which legalized medicinal marijuana via ballots in 1998. It’s medical marijuana market has decreased since a 2014 vote legalizing recreational marijuana. Though the need is still there, many dispensaries have focused on the recreational. Now the sick are suffering.
 
Efforts to turn this around are afoot. Government agencies are requesting enhanced funding (of course the are) to ensure there is enough marijuana produced to address patients and their medical conditions.
 
Read Oregon’s Medical Marijuana program assessment for more details.
 
Last January, California legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Bundled into the regulation was a little nugget (lawmakers love their little bundles) as a tax policy requiring businesses that offer free or low-cost medicinal marijuana to pay taxes on the market value of the cannabis they sell.
 
Leafy first called it out in 2016:
 
It’s essentially an excise tax, and it was called such in the initial version of the bill, but lawmakers amended the language to refer the tax as a fee in an effort to dodge a state requirement that tax increases earn a two-thirds majority vote from lawmakers.
 
“but lawmakers amended the language to refer the tax as a fee”. Slick mofos. Sounds like another healthcare mandate. Ugh.
 
What I’m trying to say is don’t get caught up in the smoke, keep your wits about you and hold lawmakers accountable. Laws veiled under the guise of helping those living with pain should be written such that they original intent is never lost.
 
Perhaps Mr. Wrigley will right many wrongs and bring a new chapter to the business. Only time will tell. Who knows, maybe he can replace the skunky scent with that of Juicy-Fruit or Wintergreen. To each his own.
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