During the 1920s, many cigarette firms in Germany closed, and the market was increasingly dominated by a few large and highly automated manufacturers. By 1933, the Nazi party was attacking the tobacco industry for having foreign and Jewish connections.
In 1929, Arthur Dressler cut a deal with the SA: together, they would found a cigarette manufacturer, and SA members would smoke its cigarettes, with the SA getting a royalty of 15–20 pfennig for every thousand cigarettes sold (0.45–0.6% of sales price, given most cigarettes sold at 31⁄3 pfennig). At the time, the SA charged no membership fees and was thus financially dependent on donations from the Nazi party leadership; an independent income source would have been very welcome.
Approached through Saxon Nazi party leader Manfred von Killinger, SA-Stabschef Otto Wagener was interested and willing to put money towards an SA cigarette factory. The Nazi party offered 30,000 reichsmarks in start-up money and, as this was nowhere near enough, Nazi party supporter
Jacques Bettenhausen invested another 500,000 reichsmarks. The Zigarettenfirma Sturm was founded, and registered as the Cigarettenfabrik Dressler.