Aphria CEO Irwin Simon told CNBC on Wednesday that he hopes marijuana will be fully legalized in the United States in the next two to three years. However, the pot executive expressed confidence that the company can grow its revenues regardless of action from Washington.
Simon made the remarks in an interview on “Close bell” Next Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy. In December the Canadian company announced plans to merge in all-stock deal that would create the largest cannabis producer in the world by sales.
“A lot of the unknown is known about what is going to happen in the US, but we will have the record, we will have the knowledge, we will have the brands, we will have the technology to make a huge impact once legalization is done, “said Simon. “I say full legalization in the next two to three years.”
Simon, who will lead the combined company upon conclusion of the deal, added that he “firmly believes that legalization in Germany, Portugal and some other countries can take place before the US”.
Pot supplies have gathered in the hope of national legalization in the US, a move that would have a significant impact on companies in the industry. For example the Boost the Seymour Cannabis ETF is up over 120% since November 9, the first day of trading after most of the media scheduled the presidential election for Democrats Joe Biden.
Earlier this month Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, gave his support behind trying to end the federal marijuana ban. Schumer said in a statement alongside Democratic Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Cory Booker of New Jersey that passing such laws would be a priority this year.
A large number of US states have legalized medical or recreational marijuana. Monday, New Jersey became the newest condition Pot for recreational use to allow if Governor Phil Murphy signed a legislative package. However, current federal law prevents cannabis be imported in the country and also limits the relationship that industry players can have with financial institutions.
Simon expressed his confidence in Aphria’s growth prospects even in the current landscape without federal legalization in America. Recreation area is allowed all over Canada, he noted, and in his latest quarterly resultsAphria’s revenue from adult cannabis increased 149% compared to the same period last year.
Once the combination of Aphria and Tilray is complete, the combined company will have a “strong” medical business in Europe, Simon said. Earlier this month, Tilray inked an important deal with Grow Pharma to import and distribute its medical cannabis products in the UK
In the USA, Simon promoted the takeover of SweetWater Brewing Company, based in Atlanta Completed at the end of November. The company will also be owned by Tilray through Manitoba Harvest upon completion of the merger, Simon said. Manitoba Harvest sells hemp-based foods such as Cereal and milk. “We will look at other acquisitions in the US,” added Simon.
Aphria’s shares, listed on Nasdaq, are up nearly 175% in 2021. Tilray stock is up nearly 211%.