Cronos Group Expects To Enter U.S. CBD Market By End Of Year, CEO Says

Cronos recently took some heat for lower than expected earnings

Canadian cannabis producer Cronos Group may be less vocal about its plans for the U.S. than some of its contemporaries ー looking at you, Canopy Growth ー but that doesn’t mean it’s forgotten about the U.S. And its official foray into the U.S. CBD market could come by the end of the year.

“We are Americans in Canada that always planned on coming back to the U.S.,” Mike Gorenstein, Cronos Group CEO and co-founder told Cheddar in an exclusive interview.

A $4.5 billion company with cannabis cultivation, processing, and distribution operations, and partnerships in Australia, Canada, Columbia, Germany, and Israel, Cronos Group ($CRON) was the first plant-touching cannabis company to trade on a major U.S. exchange. It listed on Nasdaq in February 2018; followed closely by Canopy Growth’s ($CGC) listing on the New York Stock Exchange; and Tilray ($TLRY), which went public on Nasdaq.

Marlboro-maker Altria ($MO) then invested a 45 percent stake in Cronos for $1.8 billion, flooding the cannabis company with capital for international growth.

Both Altria’s investment and Cronos Group’s close ties with cannabis-focused private equity group Gotham Green Partners, which Gorenstein co-founded, will serve as infrastructure the company needs to expand into the U.S. by the year’s end, “pending any regulatory changes,” Gorenstein clarified. Through its partnership with Altria, Cronos Group has access to over 200,000 retail stores across the U.S., plus a network of farmers that can pivot from farming tobacco to farming hemp.

“[I’m] comfortable saying we plan on launching CBD products at some point this year,” he added.

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