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Tilray CEO says he expects U.S. federal cannabis legalization within two years

CNBC logo CNBC 1/27/2021 Katie Tsai
  • The CEO of Canadian cannabis company Tilray is optimistic that the United States will take steps toward federal legalization of marijuana in the near future.
  • Earlier this month, Mexico published regulations for medical cannabis use and Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy is confident that Mexico and Canada's positive stance on marijuana will quickly lead to legalization in the U.S.
  • Kennedy is optimistic that the experiment will push other European countries to implement medical marijuana programs.
Brendan Kennedy wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a fence: Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Tilray medical cannabis producer, poses in a greenhouse of the Canadian company's European production site in Cantanhede, on April 24, 2018. © Provided by CNBC Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Tilray medical cannabis producer, poses in a greenhouse of the Canadian company's European production site in Cantanhede, on April 24, 2018.

Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Canadian cannabis company Tilray, is optimistic that the United States will take steps toward federal legalization of marijuana in the near future, a move that will shake the industry forever.

"I expect that pressure from the North and the South will ultimately lead the U.S. to implement a federal program here at some point in the next 18 to 24 months," Kennedy said in an interview on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Wednesday.

Earlier this month, Mexico published regulations for medical cannabis use and Kennedy is confident that Mexico and Canada's positive stance on marijuana will put more pressure on the U.S.

Tilray announced Tuesday that it has been chosen as a supplier of medical cannabis for experimentation in France by the country's National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products.

Since 2017, the company has been selling its cannabis products in Germany. With the French program getting underway in the first quarter, Kennedy is optimistic that other European countries will implement medical marijuana programs as well.

"While we are excited for our opportunities in Germany and France, we expect to see additional opportunities for our European businesses in the coming quarters," Kennedy told CNBC in an interview.

Tilray has cannabis production licenses in Canada and Portugal, where their main cannabis facility is located.

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