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EXCLUSIVE: Tilray CEO Shares Insider Insights Into Earnings, International Opportunities, Alcohol Market & More

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Tilray Brands Inc.'s (NASDAQ: TLRY) CEO Irwin Simon said on Thursday's "Cannabis Insider" that "Europe will legalize [cannabis] before the U.S."

That's something that would have already happened if the war between Russia and Ukraine hadn't broken out, he added.

Simon spoke with Javier Hasse and Patrick Lane following the release of Tilray's fourth-quarter earnings report.

Touching on the subject of marijuana legalization, Simon agreed that it's a hot topic at the moment while pointing out that "everybody wants to enjoy cannabis drink and enjoy music." That's why he is building a company around brands that are focused on medical and recreational cannabis as well as spirits, beer and wellness.

From its Canadian operations to consumer package goods and European businesses, Tilray is on the way to have it all.

Today, Tilray is selling cannabis in 20 different countries.

"We're well positioned, we have a strong balance sheet, we have strong brands and we have an incredible management team," Simon said.

With 12 cannabis brands, SweetWater and Breckenridge brands through which it has partners set up both on beer and spirits as well distribution partners set up in regards to its cannabis business in Europe, infrastructure in Canada and 26 acquired notes of MedMen Enterprises Inc. (CSE: MMEN) (OTCQX: MMNFF), Tilray is well positioned for the legalization wave, when and if it happens.

Tilray continues to strengthen its presence in Germany, which is inching toward legalizing recreational cannabis as the government seeks to have the process completed by the end of 2022.

View more earnings on HEXO

The company is working with the German government to determine "the timing it would take to get product" to the newly established recreational cannabis market and "what's the right way to do it," Simon explained.

"They [Germany] will announce full legalization probably within the next 12 months," and it would take "another 12 months before they execute upon it," he noted.

Moreover, Simon expects that Portugal and Isreal will follow suit.

Q4 Earnings

Meanwhile, the company revealed on Thursday an 8% year-over-year net revenue increase to $153.3 million in the fourth quarter and $48 million of adjusted EBITDA for fiscal 2022.

Following the closing of the merger with Aphria, Tilray exceeded its original target of delivering $80 million of cost savings by the end of the fiscal year 2023 and expects to deliver a total of $100 million in cost synergies from the transaction by the end of next year.

With an additional $80 million of shared cost savings, synergies, and financial benefits over the next two years associated with the HEXO Corp (NASDAQ: HEXO) transaction, Simon said that the company would be free cash flow positive in 2023.

"I'm big on cash," Simon said. "I'm big on how we generate cash. In order to get the market comfortable, you had to come out there and give some guidance," being one of the few companies to do so."

When asked about low sentiment among investors and stocks closing at low prices, Simon took a stance that Tilray has made all the right moves in regards to taking costs out of business, whether it was a Freya, whether it was Aphria/Tilray combination, whether the ongoing transaction with Hexo.

"Everybody's stock has been hit tremendously," he said, adding that the success of Tilray's businesses is not reflected in its stock.

Watch the full interview here: https://youtu.be/4pHxQnrAaig

Photo: Courtesy of Tim Foster on Unsplash

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