Singer Jimmy Buffett has partnered with a U.S. marijuana startup, allowing the company to use his Coral Reefer brand for a line of cannabis products.
While Buffet was approached by several other cannabis startups, he partnered with Surterra because it focused on health and wellness rather than recreation, said John Cohlan, Buffett’s business partner.
“We have made a conscious decision to not go into the recreational business,” Cohlan said, adding that the musician would receive royalties from the deal but not a stake in the firm.
The Coral Reefer products aim to improve appetite and mood, relieve pain and alleviate chemotherapy side effects. In states where recreational marijuana is legal, the products won’t need a prescription.
The products will be available at Surterra stores in Florida starting next spring, and could be available in additional states through other retail outlets or wholesalers, said Jake Bergmann, Surterra’s founder and CEO.
The deal with Buffet comes one month after William “Beau” Wrigley Jr., 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.
Founded in 2014, Atlanta-based Surterra is licensed to operate in Florida and Texas. The company, which has raised more than $100 million since 2015, grows marijuana, manufactures medical cannabis products and operates retail outlets.
Within the past five years, more than 60 US cannabis startups have raised at least $5 million from venture capital or private equity. In July, Tilray, the first cannabis company to conduct an initial public offering on a U.S. exchange, sold for a listing price of $17, higher than the original indicated range of $14 to $16 a share. The IPO raised $153 million.
And last month Constellation Brands, which put outs products such as Robert Mondavi wine, Corona beer and Svedka vodka, took a stake in Canada’s Canopy Growth — an up-and-coming player in the pot industry.