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

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Brendan Kennedy, CEO of medical cannabis producer Tilray, poses in a greenhouse of the Canadian company’s European production site in Cantanhede on April 24, 2018.

Patricia De Melo Moreira | AFP | Getty Images

Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Canadian cannabis company Tilray, is optimistic that the US will take steps to federally legalize marijuana in the near future, which will shake the industry forever.

“I assume that the pressure from the north and the south will eventually cause the US to implement a federal program here sometime in the next 18 to 24 months,” said Kennedy in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Wednesday.

Mexico released regulations on medical cannabis use earlier this month, and Kennedy is confident that Mexico and Canada’s positive stance on marijuana will put more pressure on the US

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

The company has been selling its cannabis products in Germany since 2017. With the French program launched in the first quarter, Kennedy is optimistic that other European countries will run medical marijuana programs as well.

“While we look forward to our opportunities in Germany and France, we expect additional opportunities for our European companies in the coming quarters,” said Kennedy in an interview with CNBC.

Tilray has licenses to produce cannabis in Canada and Portugal, where the main cannabis facility is located.

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Robert Dunfee