The CEO of Tilray Brands anticipates creating beer infused with cannabis if the drug becomes legal across the United States. 

Last month, Tilray bought eight beer brands from Anheuser-Busch for US$85 million and followed it up with a deal to take over 100 per cent of cannabis beverage company Truss Beverage Co. from Molson Coors Canada.

“I’m buying these brands too because I think there’s a big opportunity in the beer business and my whole strategy is craft beer,” Irwin Simon, chairman and CEO of Tilray Brands, told BNN Bloomberg in a television interview.

“Upon legalization (in the U.S.) one day, we will infuse these drinks with THC, with CBD, but we’ll have the distribution and we’ll have the brands when and if legalization does happen.”

Cannabis remains federally illegal in the U.S., though 23 states have legalized the drug for recreational use and another 13 have legalized it for medicinal purposes.


Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended easing restrictions on cannabis by reclassifying it as a Schedule III drug, the same category as testosterone and anabolic steroids, rather than its current Schedule I distinction along with heroin and LSD.

For Simon, the move is the latest in a series of steps closer to federal cannabis legalization in the U.S.

“The news last week gives hope that the government will do something,” he said. “I think what’s going to happen, in my opinion. Medical cannabis will be legalized first and they’ll leave it up to each of the states.”

If federal legalization comes to pass in the U.S., Simon said his company will be in a position to benefit.

“Tilray today is well diversified, well positioned and with legalization happening in the U.S., we are set to capitalize on that in a big way too,” he added.