Tilray CEO: U.S. Represents ‘$100B Opportunity in Cannabis’

Tilray CEO Irwin Simon said the growing U.S. cannabis industry will represent a $100 billion opportunity by the time widespread legalization is achieved.

Full story after the jump.

During an appearance on Yahoo Finance Live, Tilray CEO Irwin Simon called the U.S. “a $100 billion opportunity in cannabis.” Simon also suggested that traditional firms, such as “the Nestles and Unilevers” will seek to enter the cannabis space “because they know Gen-Z, millennials, that’s very much what they want.”  

“If you look at cannabis today in the U.S., 93% of Americans want medical cannabis legalized and about 63%, 65% want adult use. Today, it’s legal in about 33 states, plus D.C. So it’s out there that… a majority of people want cannabis legally.” — Simon to Yahoo Finance Live 

Simon noted that in Canada, where Tilray currently operates, the cannabis industry has “contributed about $20 billion in taxes, over 150,000 jobs, [and] about $6 billion in infrastructure.”  

Curaleaf CEO Matt Darin told Yahoo Finance that the firm, one of the largest cannabis companies in the U.S., is “very encouraged by what’s coming out of Washington, D.C. currently.”  

“There’s never been more bipartisan support for sensible reforms,” he said.

In July, U.S. Senate leaders filed a cannabis legalization bill that would decriminalize cannabis federally and allow states to set their own policies, but the measure faces a tough road in the chamber where the filibuster rules require 60 votes for legislation to pass. Democrats hold a one-vote majority as Vice President Kamala Harris serves as the tie-breaking 51st vote but several Democrats, including Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Joe Manchin (W.VA), and Bob Casey (PA) may not support the reforms. 

The House has twice passed a cannabis legalization bill – the MORE Act – but it has never been voted on in the Senate. 

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