Multi-state, vertically integrated cannabis operator Parallel—run by the former CEO and namesake of the Wrigley Company William “Beau” Wrigley Jr.—made headlines earlier this year after announcing the company would combine with special purpose acquisition company Ceres Acquisition Corp. in a $1.9-billion deal expected to close this summer. The merger would allow Parallel’s team to make a public offering while continuing to grow the business through mergers and acquisitions.
Wrigley outlines the benefits of the deal, Parallel’s market expansion strategy, the company’s clinical research partnership with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, as well as why he believes there’s still “a ways to go” before cannabis can become a true consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry.
Editor’s note: A condensed version of this article originally appeared in April 2021 issue of Cannabis Business Times. It has been updated to include details from the company’s Windy City Cannabis acquisition in Illinois, as well as the recent termination of Kim Napoli, Parallel’s former senior director of corporate social responsibility. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Cassie Neiden Tomaselli: What enticed you to participate in this industry, and how do you see cannabis evolving as a consumer packaged good (CPG)?
Beau Wrigley: What