September 23, 2023

Irwin Simon, the CEO of Canadian cannabis company Aphria, is looking for additional opportunities to acquire brands in the consumer goods space in hopes of growing beyond cannabis.

“There is a lot of food and drink and other consumer product options in the US right now, and I know how to build consumer brands and convert them into cannabis once legalization happens,” Simon said in an interview Monday at CNBC’s Closing Bell .

Previously, Simon founded the consumer goods company Hain Celestial Group, which specializes in natural and organic foods, beverages and personal care products. He stayed with the company for over 25 years, serving as CEO and Chairman.

“I do not know when [cannabis] Legalization takes place in the USA. I would like to keep acquiring certain companies like a Sweetwater like a Manitoba crop that can hold their own in the cannabis world once we get legalization with big margins, big growth and wide spread for us, “said Simon.

The company acquired Sweetwater, an independent craft brewer in the United States, in November. A month later, Aphria announced plans to merge with another Canadian cannabis company, Tilray, along with its hemp consumer products brand Manitoba Harvest, to form the top-selling cannabis company.

The company’s stock closed 14% to $ 13.95 on Monday after the company reported that coronavirus lockdowns in parts of Canada and Germany affected sales of its products in the third quarter of fiscal year. Sales declined from the second to the third quarter, but were higher year-on-year.

For the three months ended February 28, Aphria reported a net loss of $ 361 million on sales of $ 153.6 million.

“In the US, we had a solid first full quarter of Sweetwater’s contribution, even though local sales were lower year-over-year as many food service businesses were still operating on limited capacity,” said Simon in a press release .

Aphria shareholders are due to vote on the Tilray deal on Wednesday. Tilray stock closed at $ 17.19 on Monday, down 13%.