Musician Jimmy Buffett has long been both a master of marketing and an advocate for legalizing marijuana so this may be one of the least surprising headlines in Florida this week: he’s signed an agreement to sell medical marijuana under the “Coral Reefer” brand name.
As the Palm Beach Post reported, Buffett inked the deal to license the “Coral Reefer” brand to Atlanta-based Surterra Holdings, Inc., a cannabis producer that already operates ten dispensaries in Florida.
Buffett has made millions in various business ventures by marketing his laid back, permanent-vacation lifestyle to his many “Parrothead” fans over the years, including LandShark Lager beer, as well as the famous Margaritaville restaurant chain and branded tequila, salsa, and other food and clothing products. The “Coral Reefer” name — from the Coral Reefer Band, the rotating cast of musicians who join Buffett in the recording studio and on tour, invoking both the coral reefs found in Florida’s tropical waters and, of course, a slang term for marijuana — is perhaps the perfect branding for marijuana products.
The Surterra deal contemplates a line of Coral Reefer-labeled cannabis products aimed at pain relief, appetite and mood improvement, and alleviating chemotherapy side effects, such as edibles, lotions, vape pens, and gel caps. Sales are expected to start next spring. According to the Wall Street Journal, Buffett had been considering a number of opportunities to work with various marijuana companies, but ultimately decided to partner with Surterra because “it focused on health and wellness rather than recreation.”
After Buffett was injured when he accidentally fell off the stage during a 2011 concert in Sydney, Australia, he used medical marijuana during his recovery, and spoke out in favor of Florida’s Amendment 2 in 2016, which easily passed. “Cannabis is good medicine and should be made available to all who need it,” said Buffett in a statement this week about the Surterra deal.
Surterra’s board of directors is currently chaired by another prominent Palm Beach resident, William “Beau” Wrigley, Jr., scion of the candy fortune who led his family company to invest $65 million in Surterra last month, voicing a similar support for marijuana’s medicinal benefits.
Surterra touted the deal with Buffett on their Twitter feed, calling it an “exciting new partnership.” With nearly 160,000 Floridians and counting already having received approval for medical marijuana, and one of the state’s most famous residents putting his stamp of approval on the products, it should be a profitable partnership as well.
— Surterra Wellness (@Surterra) September 11, 2018
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.
Photo by Brittney Buckley via Flickr.